As the deadline to promulgate new constitution (Jan 22) is drawing ever closer, various political parties have begun organizing banda (general shutdown) in the name of pressure tactic for consensus-based constitution. But, the banda has paralyzed the normal life where the journalists are evidently at the receiving end.
During the general strike called by the major opposition- Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)- on January 13, Sushil Bandhu Thapa, a journalist affiliated to the Sagarmatha Television, was attacked by the protestors in Bhaktapur district.
According to journalist Thapa, he was riding a motorcycle and collecting news about the effects of the general strike, but the protesters attacked him, saying why he operated vehicles as there was the strike.
He however escaped injury.
In a separate incident, a journalist in Myagdi, a district in the western region of Nepal, was attacked at a fair while he was on reporting.
Bharat Rakal, affiliated to a local Radio Myagdi, was attacked while he was collecting news on the fair on January 12.
He received injury on face, and was brought to Pokhara for treatment.
The attackers however were still unknown.
Working journalists left in lurch
The oldest news portal of Nepal, www.nepalnews.com, has, without prior notice, relieved more than 12 journalists from the job.
The management of the news portal shutdown the news portal all of a sudden, forcing the journalists in a jobless state.
From the view point of their rights, they have been the victim.
It is the case of professional insecurity to the journalists.
Freedom Forum condemns the incidents. The attack on media persons is the attack on entire media and against freedom of press. FF therefore strongly urges the political parties to opt for peaceful programmes rather than the violent tactics, and respect press freedom and journalists' right to free reporting.
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