To a gross violation of press freedom, meanest hostility of media house to its reporter and sheer lack of security, Sandeep Yogi, reporter with the Image News FM, who was attacked by security persons of the high ranking official and expelled by the media house, has again been attacked by unknown persons at Koteshwor area of the capital city on August 2. He has been receiving threats of further attacks now.
"In a hideaway after the flurry of threats, Yogi has stopped receiving phone calls and switched off the mobile later", said Ram Prasad Dahal, who is a member of the Image Journalists Rights Protection Committee, adding that Yogi was attacked by unknown persons and threatened of life relating to his news reporting and the expulsion from the job.
However, maintaining a facebook status, reporter Yogi on August 3 said, "I escaped major injuries in the attack on Sunday evening, and am not deterred from such coward attack."
To this, Freedom Forum Chairperson Taranath Dahal maintains, "Such string of attacks and threats on reporter Yogi and even the expulsion by the media house is a blatant suppression of press freedom, stark violation of journalists' rights, and the threat to life. It is an effort to silence media freedom. Such activities never suit any democratic country. All bodies concerned need to be serious to help prevent further untoward incident on him and respect journalists' right to free reporting."
Earlier, on July 28, management of the Image News FM in the capital city, all of a sudden, expelled reporter Yogi over the news relating to the misbehavior he was meted out by the security persons attending the vehicle of a high ranking official.
A day before, he had photographed the traffic congestion created by the vehicle (it was violating traffic rule) of the Chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), Lokman Singh Karki, near the CIAA gate, Tangal, in the capital city.
For photographing, he was attacked by the security persons attending Mr Karki. He was detained for one hour, and the photos deleted.
Instead of protecting its reporter, the FM management expelled Yogi, saying his news created negative image of the media house.
Already hurt by the police persons, reporter Yogi suddenly got the information over phone, "Yesterday news (incident) has tarnished the image of the media house. So, you stop coming to office. Your payment will be handed later."
Such unexpected termination from the job came from Program Manager Anupa Shrestha, he added.
Sharing the plight, reporter Yogi said, his media did not even disseminate the news on security persons' attack on him.
"With this incident befallen me, I worry that the working journalists (reporters) now need to make list of the friends of their media owners and not make news on their activities disregarding they are wrongdoings."
He further lamented that even the senior journalists working in his media house, who always advocated for rights of the journalists, were indifferent to his case. "It was because they were controlled by the media owner," Yogi added.
Both the attack on, and ouster of working journalist Yogi are the gross violations of the press freedom, and against the rights of the working journalist. It is also the case that how media owners are hostile to their own employees, and firing without any reason.
FF condemns both attacks and ouster of the journalist and strongly urges the media house to unconditionally restore the working journalists and respect his rights. The security authorities must ensure safety to the journalist who is bound to resort to the hideout fearing of further attack.
For More Information
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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np
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