Senior reporter with the Rajdhani daily, Tapendra Karki, editors duo Rajan Sharma and Ganesh Basnet were issued death threat over the publication of news on suspended Chief of anti-graft body, Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), Lokman Singh Karki, on 23 October. The Rajdhani daily is published from the capital city Kathmandu.
Talking to Freedom Forum, senior reporter Karki said, "In the evening around 6:45 pm, a person called on Rajdhani daily's office landline number from Okhaldhunga, a remote hilly district, and threatened me not to write the news on Lokman Singh Karki anymore or else my life would be risked."
He further said the person had called from some extension number, so, they could not trace the number. The person threatening over phone claimed himself being the suspended CIAA Chief Karki. Though he did not disclose his full name, he had spoken foul on me and my colleagues.
According to him, the threat call was received simultaneously by two other persons- editors Sharma and Basnet.
CIAA Chief Karki was recently been suspended upon the impeachment motion filed at the Legislature-Parliament questioning his official conducts, and contempt of court.
The incident occurred in the capital city shows the journalists writing about misconduct and irregularities of big people are always targeted irrespective of place (city/mofussil) they carry out the profession. Moreover, the threat in the name of suspended chief of a constitutional body is more shameful that tells the authority is hostile to free press. It has badly instilled self-censorship among the journalists.
Freedom Forum strongly condemns the incident as it has violated press freedom and journalists' right to report in the free atmosphere. The concerned authority needs to immediately recognize the culprit and bring him to book.
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