Freedom Forum has been alarmed over the spate of press freedom violations and assaults on journalists in different parts of the country in the recent days when the Constituent Assembly, the supreme body of the people's representatives, is finalizing the process to issue a new constitution.
In the mid-western city of Banke, a journalist was attacked by the agitating political groups reasoning that his media did not cover the news of the demonstration the the groups made in the city.
On September 3, the activists of the agitating Tharuhat Joint Struggle Committee, reached the office of Mission Today daily and assaulted its chief editor and publisher Binod Poudel.
Similarly, in the same city the same day, journalist with a local Pratibodh FM, Pujan Bishwokarma, was issued death threat with similar reason.
According to the reporter for the National News Agency (RSS) from Banke, Niraj Gautam, five daily newspapers, some weeklies and two FMs in the city have closed down their media reasoning mounting threats on journalists in the city where the demonstrations are gripping normal life. They have closed the media for indefinite period, added reporter Gautam.
To this, Freedom Forum Chairperson Taranath Dahal, observes, "The suppression of media and attack on journalists who are the messengers in the society, intermediary between the public and the State, and mostly importantly the frontline human rights defenders is quite worrying. The agitators need to respect journalists' right to free reporting. It is essential for anyone/any group to respect others' right while struggling for the rights. The blockage of free flow of information is against democratic norms and values."
Freedom Forum strongly urges the security authorities and the concerned administration offices to provide security to the media/reporters in view of the volatile situation.
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