Freedom Forum has been gravely concerned over the growing insecurity to the journalists in recent days in Dailekh, a district in the far western region of Nepal.
The journalists who have been receiving threats by the ruling Maoist party following the arrest of its cadres on charge of the murder of journalist Dekendra Thapa witnessed bigger threats on January 23 again.
The cadres of the ruling UCPN-Maoist publicly threatened that as many as 10 journalists of Dailekh would meet the fate of Dekendra Thapa while they were rallying to welcome the Prime Minister for a program. Similarly, they vandalized the Office of the Hamro Teshro Ankha daily published and edited by journalist Govinda KC.
Moreover, six journalists were injured during a clash between the cadres of the ruling parties and the opposition ones.
The journalists in Dailekha are saying- district headquarters remained tense as the Maoists cadres were rallying with pistols and homemade weapons and challenging them.
Feeling insecure, some journalists are hiding to escape the aggression of the Maoists cadres. Banning journalists to report on the program the PM was addressing has violated the journalists’ rights to free reporting and citizens’ right to information.
Flurry of threats on journalists in Dailekh in recent time has not only violated their rights but also posed tremendous threat to their lives. Government’s sheer negligence to journalist’s security is quite condemnable. The government has rather promoted insecurity, impunity and terror and threat which ruin media Freedom and Freedom of expression. It is quite ironic that the government which has the prime responsibility of giving a feeling of security to citizens and journalists is cruising to trample their rights. Such action on journalists is an attack on democracy.
Freedom Forum therefore condemns the threats, and vandalism. It strongly urges the Prime Minister to respect the press Freedom and teach his cadres accordingly.