June 1, 2008
Freedom Forum Condemns Rising Threat to Journalists and Media House
Freedom Forum expresses its serious concern and strongly denounces the latest incidents of physical assault and mental torture against journalists, and warnings against media houses of bad consequences.
Journalists including publishers and editors of newspapers from Dhangadhi have been receiving death threats and mental torture from the cadres of Maoist, the largest party of Nepal which culminated into the halt of publication of all the newspapers here. Owing to the poor security situation, eight dailies, a biweekly and two weekly newspapers here have shut operation for an indefinite period.
A meeting of the editors and publishers of the newspapers on Saturday decided to stop their publication for an indefinite period citing security threats to their offices and journalists. The unrelenting situation took place in Dhangadi when Maoist cadres beat journalist Lakki Chaudhari over the news report that brought our embezzlement of funds in a local temple and a lake. For this, Chaudhary had to displace from Dhangadhi due to threats to his life.
The killings of three protestors and clamping curfew further aggravated the situation rising death threats to journalists and forcing them to flee the village.
Mounting physical attack and torture and forcing journalists to flee from own working place is not by any means agreeable in the democratic and open society. it is vehemently condemnable on the part of the police administration to remain indifferent while journalists were beaten before them. The development of situation where journalists have to halt publications due to security threats has indicated a tremendous setback and stagnation in Nepali press sector.
It is quite disgusting when journalists have to receive life threats on the ground of writing news and imparting information to people.
Likewise, the Forum also condemned the statement of Chairman of CPN-Maoist Prachanda warning Kantipur Publication of serious consequences if it continued to exercise his party. He spoke this while addressing a mass meet at open air theatre at Ratnapark on Friday.
The Forum urged Maoist to present their clear stance regarding press freedom and respect journalist’s job to flow information and their right to freedom of expression. The Forum also asked the government to ensure congenial and workable environment for journalists and make sure that the later could carry out their job unhindered.
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