Protestors in the eastern city of Biratnagar on August 31 vandalized a press vehicle belonging to a local Makalu TV, reasoning it was strike and the media could not operate the vehicle.
to News Chief at Makalu TV, Kamal Poudel, a reporter was heading for Road Shes for news in a van (Ba 10 Cha 3937). But a group of protestors all of a sudden pelted stones on it smashing the windows.
In another incident, a motorcycle (Ko 13 Pa 973) used by a journalist with the Himalaya Times, Nirmal Dhungana, was also vandalized some days back in the same city.
Yet again, the protestors on August 26 torched the Nagarik daily reasoning it published a news story disfavoring Madhes issues. The incident occurred in Birgunj, a city in the southern plains of the country.
In the recent weeks, Nepal has witnessed strikes in different parts of the country in the name of the rights while the Constituent Assembly is making efforts to finalize the draft of the new constitution. With the strikes, the media is receiving the brunt.
Although some leaders of the agitating political parties said they respect press freedom, their cadres have not followed suit. Media persons are making stories with difficulty while newspapers are burnt, and press vehicles vandalized in different parts.
Freedom Forum strongly urges the agitating political parties and groups to fully respect press freedom and teach their cadres to follow suit. Atmosphere of free reporting must be ensured for free flow of information which helps guarantee people's freedom of expression and right to information.
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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np
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