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Reporter Panthi issued death threat, offender arrested

Kamal Panthi, reporter for the Kantipur daily from Bardiya, a district in the mid-western plains of Nepal, was threatened over facebook by a cadre of agitating Tharuhat party over a news story on the agitation of the Tharuhat party on 2 October.

Talking to Freedom Forum, reporter Panthi said Tharuhat cadre Mukesh Chaudhari wrote on face, "This Kamal Panthi nonentity should be burnt to death taking him to a square."

It was a facebook comment on the post of the news reporter Panthi published in the Kantipur daily. The facebook comment went viral panicking all journalists in the district and environs.

Later, reporter Panthi lodged a complaint at the District Police Office, seeking his security and action against the threat issuer. The police immediately caught the cadres.

"As different political parties and communal groups are waging agitation, the facebook threat of life tortured me for three days. Still, we journalists are working by putting life in risk," he added.

The Tharuhat cadres later excused and the district coordinator of agitating party, Govinda Tharu, also admitted it as a grave mistake. The coordinator and the agitating people promised before the district police and journalists that they won't repeat such.

Freedom Forum is alarmed over such violation of press freedom. As some districts in the southern plains of the country are still unrest, intimidations on journalists are recurring which has not only panicked journalists and violated press freedom but also suppressed people's right to information and free expression. Therefore, the security agencies need to be alert on possible untoward activities against journalists.

Similarly, the agitating political parties are strongly urged to maintain restraint and respect free press and journalists' right to free reporting.

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;