Freedom Forum's stringer for Province-3 Ashok Dahal reported that two journalists were beaten and their camera snatched by the organizer of a religious function in the Pashupati premises of Kathmandu on February 25 for seeking information about the function.
Journalist Raju Pokhrel and camera person Meghraj Pahadi affiliated to www.pariwartankhabar.com news portal were beaten by the organizer.
The journalists had reached the program venue after a complaint of fraud in organizing the function. Sharing the incident with stringer Dahal, camera person Pahadi said, “Dispute erupted among the organizers from a religious Hindu youth group and we were capturing it. When we asked why the donation was sought even from the infants in the function, the main priest in the function instructed his men to attack us.”
According to him, they had to rush to the nearby police station after a group of 50 youths manhandled and chased them away. “We have registered a complaint against the organizer at Gausala police office,” he informed. The police helped to bring their snatched camera. But, according to journalist Pokhrel, their memory card with the photos and video of the incident and camera batteries were yet to be returned.
Freedom Forum condemns the incident, as it is a sheer violation of press freedom. Reporting and publishing news about issues of public concern is journalists' rights and citizens' right to information. Such incidents are responsible for increasing self-censorship among journalists, which is harmful to professional media practice.
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