Two journalists were issued death threats against news reporting in Mahottari, a district in the central region of the southern plain in Nepal on 23 January 2014.
Editor of the Bardibas daily, Santosh Pokhrel, and reporter with the Radio Darpan, Gita Chimoriya, were threatened of lives by two locals named Buddhiraj Neupane and Devraj Kafle over a news dissemination about a road accident.
Talking to Freedom Forum's Media Monitoring Desk, Gita Chimoriya said, the two persons Neupane and Kafle barged into the office of the Radio Darpan and said to me, "Are you the one making news on road accident? Why did you make news on that? We will finish you at any time."
She added that they also spoke foul words to her and left the station.
When asked whether they had any disputes on news content, reporter Chimoriya said she had made the accident news based on police information. So there was not any misleading content, she argued.
Over the same case, editor Pokhrel was threatened over telephone by the two men.
Meanwhile, as per the complaints filed by the journalists to the local police administration, both Neupane and Kafle were arrested by the police. But the political parties in the district are reported to have piled pressure on the police to release the disruptive men.
Freedom Forum condemns the incident as it egregiously violated free reporting and journalists' right to work in safe atmosphere. Although it was appreciative on the part of the police persons to nab the disruptive men following the complaint, the political pressure to release them is quite abhorrent. FF therefore strongly urges the political parties to respect journalists' rights for free flow of information and informed citizenry, the needs of the democratic culture. The press freedom violators must be meted out action as per the law.
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