The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) in condemning the incidents leading to displacement of journalist Ramesh Rawal from Kalikot district of remote Karnali, mid-west Nepal two weeks ago.
Rawal informed the FNJ that he was forced to move out of his home district after receiving continuous threats from various officials regarding news he reported for Karobar economic daily in Kathmandu and local daily Hamro Karnali Khabar. The displaced journalist, who moved to remote district from capital Kathmandu earlier this year, believes that he became subject of threats for writing news on corruption by government agencies.
Rawal decided to leave the district after he was told that some unidentified people reached his home in the midnight of July 14 asking for him. The FNJ has sent a two-member team to Kalikot district to assess the situation.
The FNJ said: “Threats to a journalist over the published news is direct interference on the press freedom and freedom of expression. If anyone is not satisfied with the published news, there are legal means to seek remedies.”
“The FNJ believes that this incident has violated the journalist’s rights of reporting freely. We condemn the incident and demand the local administration to investigate the incident thoroughly.”
The IFJ and the FNJ urged the Nepal Government for arrangement for safe working conditions for the displaced journalist for his safe return to his district and work.
The IFJ said: “This is an unfortunate and concerning incident as direct intimidation and threat is a means used to silence the media and restrict a journalist’s ability to report on critical issues important for democratic governance. This action must be condemned and investigated by the Nepal Government for the sake of media freedom in Nepal.”
The IFJ added: “We urge the government and local administration to ensure that the journalists and their rights are respected and demand with the government the security measures to bring an end of such incidents.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950
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