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News portal blocked; media house vandalized

First of its kind in Nepal, a news portal named www.hulakinews.com operated from Kathmandu has been blocked since August 19 over the news published on the portal.The story was written jointly by editor BP Sah and Sanjib Vikram Sah on the death of a local in a police firing during demonstration at Bhardaha of Saptari.

Editor Saha said, "Deputy Superintendent of Police from Saptari called me over phone on Wednesday morning and asked to delete the story reasoning such story will foment discord among different community in the southern plains. The news portal was blocked in the evening though I had published his dissent on the story there."

During the conversation, editor Sah requested DSP to send his criticism on the story, the DSP sent and it was published too. But the website was blocked in the evening.

Moreover, local stringer Sanjib was called in the district police and grilled time and again. "I was also issued threat of arrest warrant indirectly," BP added.

In a separate incident, the Office of the Annapurna Post daily was vandalized in the capital city in the night of Wednesday. Deputy Editor at the daily, Chudamani Bhattarai, informed that window glasses were smashed with the stones pelted on the office building.

Freedom Forum condemns both incidents. The blockade after security persons' reservation and vandalism in the media house are the violations of press freedom. It is security to control any media or monitor the content of the media, so it has reflected highhandedness of security to suppress the media freedom. So, immediate lift of the blocked website is demanded. Similarly, the security persons need to search the vandals and take action on them.

(Note: Photo of blocked website included!)

For More Information
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np
Email: monitoring@freedomforum.org.np;  info@freedomforum.org.np;