Freedom Forum has been alarmed over the threat of physical attack by a high level official on a reporter in the capital city, Kathmandu, for writing a news story about the irregularities.
Gopal Bahadur Khadka, Executive Director at Nepal Oil Corporation, the sole body to import and distribute petroleum products and regulate its supply, issued threat of attack on Dilip Poudel, reporter to the Nagarik daily, over the news of financial irregularities in the purchase of land by the NOC on August 4.
Quoting reporter Poudel, FF's Stringer at Province No 3 and the Poudel's colleague, Ashok Dahal said, "Being angered after the disclosure of irregularities with the news, NOC Executive Director Khadka threatened of finishing Poudel's journalism career."
"You also may have your family. Don't you need their protection," said Executive Director Khadka to reporter Poudel on the office premises of the NOC Office. Reporter Poudel had reached the NOC to collect follow up news on the land purchase.
Two weeks back, reporter Poudel had disclosed that Rs 670 million could have been embezzled in the purchase of land by NOC.
The incident shows how horrible the atmosphere is for the reporters who write investigative news- the news on irregularities and corruption in Nepal! Reporter Poudel was threatened in the NOC premises, which signals the journalists are unsafe even within the capital city.
Freedom Forum strongly condemns the incident for it is the gross violation of press freedom. The local authority is urged to remain informed to prevent any untoward incident against reporter Poudel. Also the high level officials must recognize the value of press freedom and respect journalists' rights to free reporting.
For More Information,
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np