Monthly Media Monitoring Report / September-December 2013
10 September 2013/Kathmandu: Serious attention of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has been drawn towards the incident of a journalist threatened of life. Shambhu Shrestha, FNJ Counsillor and Chief Editor of Dristi Weekly was threatened of life over the phone by unidentified caller in Kathmandu (Central Region of Nepal) on 10 September 2013. An unidentified person threatened him over published news of Dristi Weekly, which was published on 3 September 2013.
Threats to journalist over a published news is against the press as one still had the right to seek legal means if not satisfied about the published/broadcasted news. FNJ condemns the incident of journalist Shrestha threatened. FNJ demands the government to immediately identify the guilty and take legal action as well as ensure the security of the journalist.
FNJ condemns misbehaviour of sports journalists on duty
26 September 2013/Kathmandu: Serious attention of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has been drawn towards the incident of half a dozen journalists who were misbehaved by the security guards at Dashrath Stadium during the first day of AFC U-16 Championship selection games in Kathmandu (Central Region of Nepal) on 25 September 2013. The misbehaved journalists were on reporting assignment and were holding press accrediation cards issued by the local organizer, All Nepal Football Association (ANFA).
The security guards from Garud Securities Pvt. Ltd. who were assigned by ANFA had prevented half a dozen sports journalists from entering the Dashrath Stadium, even using foul language and unceremonously shoving them off despite that the journalists displayed their ANFA issued press accrediation cards.
This is an activity against press freedom and freedom of expression when people misbehave with journalists and create obstacles in fair news reporting. It has to be realized that journalists have taken up the responsibility to inform the general public. FNJ condemns such an act that has occured due to poor management of ANFA. FNJ would like to draw the attention of Ministry of Youth and Sports, Nepal and the organizers towards this incident and demands the concerned parties to assist the journalists in performing their duties by ensuring better news access.
Journalist Found Dead
29 September 2013/Dhanusha: Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) is shocked by the brutal murder of media person, Satyanarayan Gaderi, in Janakpur, Dhanusha (Central Region of Nepal) on 27 September 2013.
Gaderi was a program presenter of a “special program” for School Leaving Certificate Examination which is aired on Radio Janakpur. He was also associated with Janak Hazari Vidhyapeeth and Dhanusha Science Campus.
Gaderi’s body was found on the morning of September 27 near a brick kiln in Kurtha VDC-6 of Dhanusha District with a bullet mark as well as neck slashed with a sharp object. He was last seen leaving his home on the evening of September 26. Though media person Gaderi originally hailed from Siraha District, he had been staying in Janakpur.
FNJ condemns this incident and demands that the government immediately investigates the incident and brings those guilty under the arms of the legal procedure. FNJ also expresses condolences to the family and relatives.
Nepal Journalist Arrested for Sharing News on Facebook Page
30 September 2013/Kathmandu: Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) is seriously concerned over the arrest of Editor of Share Bazaar Weekly, Dinesh Acharya, on 30 September 2013 in the capital Kathmandu (Central Region) on charges of sharing a news article published on his newspaper on the paper’s Facebook page.
Editor Acharya was arrested by Nepal Police on charges of working against the Electronic Transaction Act and based on a complaint filed by industrialist Nirman Chaudhary. On its edition dated 23-29 June 2013, Share Bazaar had published news related to industrialist Chaudhary which was shared by Editor Acharya on the newspaper’s Facebook page.
Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) believes that it is the dutiful right of a journalist to relay news and opinion based programs and news-related messages. FNJ also expresses deep sadness over the rising trend of having journalists arrested by using the Electronic Transaction Act which was made for a separate purpose. Even in this case, the all-accepted option of demanding compensation in case of personal defamation or seeking legal remedies by filing a case at Press Council Nepal has been ignored.
• Read the name of industrialist as Nirvana Chaudhary than what had adherently appeared in our earlier press release. Corrected on 1 October 2013.
Journalist Misbehaved by Police Personnel
11 November 2013/Jajarkot: Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) is seriously concerned over the incident of a journalist who was misbehaved by Sub Inspector of Nepal Police, Dhan Bahadur Bohara, in Jajarkot (Mid Western Region of Nepal) on 11 November 2013. Dipendra Sharma, who is also the Secretary of FNJ Jajarkot Chapter and is local correspondent of Himalaya Television in the district, was mistreated, threatened and frisked unnecessarily for taking pictures of temporary police and other patrolling police personnel on the same day.
It is a condemnable act that a journalist was misbehaved by responsible police personnel who was on duty to protect the lives and property of the general public. Such an act demoralizes journalists in performing their duties to inform the public. FNJ condemns such misbehavior of the police in strong words. FNJ also demands that the local administration punish the guilty police personnel and respect press freedom and assist in creating a better working environment for the media.
Journalist Attacked and Vehicle Vandalized
11 November 2013/Kathmandu: Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) is seriously concerned over the incident of shooting at Gopal Dewan, Editor cum Publisher of Bishwasta Weekly, by an unknown assailant on 11 November 2013 in Dharan, Sunsari (Easter Region of Nepal). Editor Dewan, who managed to escape unhurt, claims he was able to survive as none of the bullets hit him.
According to the victim, two unidentified people came on a Pulsar brand motorcycle wearing a mask in his office premises at around 7:30 PM and the pillion rider started to fire upon him. Dewan’s office is located at Chatara in Dharan-12.
Such an incident where an attempt was made to kill a journalist with a gun is an extremely serious matter, especially at a time when the Constituent Assembly elections are approaching. It hampers the duty of the press at this hour when it struggles to report in a fearless and independent manner. It also raises the question over the current security situation of the state. FNJ also strongly demands that the government immediately investigate the incident and bring those guilty under the legal procedure and create a fearless and free working atmosphere for the journalists.
In another incident, FNJ also condemns and regrets the vandalism of a media vehicle during the first day of the nationwide shutdown on 11 November 2013 called by 33 different parties under the leadership of Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist. A vehicle with registration number Ba 4 Cha 7822 belonging to Nagarik Daily was vandalized in Koteshwar, Kathmandu. The incident occurred despite the fact that the strikers had expressed their commitment that the media vehicles would not be affected during their pre-announced nationwide shutdown. FNJ requests the strikers to respect the constitutional rights of the press and bring about their expressed commitments into practice as well as not create any obstacle over the media.
• Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist corrected on 13/11/2013 from United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist
Journalist Abducted, Camera Confiscated during Elections
20 November 2013/Kathmandu: Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) is seriously concerned over the abduction of our Rolpa Chapter President, Mausam Rokka, in Thabang of Rolpa District (Mid Western Region of Nepal) on 19 November 2013. According to FNJ Rolpa Chapter, journalist Rokka was abducted by cadres of CPN-Maoist when he had gone to vote in his voting center during the Constituent Assembly election taking place that same day.
FNJ regrets that CPN-Maoist has resorted to abducting a journalist in an attempt to block granted right of a citizen to vote. FNJ also demands that the local administration bring those involved under the arms of the law, prevent further similar events from occurring, as well as manage the release of the concerned journalist.
Likewise, in another incident during the Constituent Assembly elections, Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) condemns the confiscation of camera of journalists, Ishwar Chandra Jha (who is also Secretary of FNJ Dhanusa Chapter) and Himalaya Television correspondent Sanjay Raut, in Sapahi voting center of Dhanusa-5 (Central Region of Nepal). According to FNJ Dhanusa District Chapter, a group of political cadres aligned to the Nepali Congress including Shekhar Yadav and Anita Yadav, took away the camera belonging to the journalists as the journalist duo were in the area to take pictures of the ongoing elections. FNJ condemns such incident and requests the local administration to take action against those involved in the incident. FNJ also draws the attention of the government to such incident and demands that better working environment be built where journalists can work more freely.
*Update on 21/11/2013: FNJ Rolpa Disctrict Chapter President, Mausam Rokka, has been released on the afternoon of 20 November 2013.
FNJ Condemns Attacks on Journalists
7 December 2013/Kathmandu: Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) is seriously concerned over two different incidents where journalists were attacked in the same manner within the past one week. The journalists who were attacked are Gokarna Aryal, Acting Editor of Gorkhapatra National Daily, in Kathmandu and Manisha Gautam , News Coordinator of Radio Saragam FM 88.8 Mhz in Jhapa (Eastern Region of Nepal).
The assailants in both the incidents still remain unidentified.
In the first incident, journalist Gokarna Aryal was attacked around 8 PM on 7 December 2013 by three people near his residence in Dhapasi, Kathmandu. FNJ Gorkhapatra Chapter adds that the attack took place when journalist Aryal was returning to his home from his office.
Likewise, in the second incident, FNJ Jhapa Chapter confirms that journalist Gautam was attacked around 6:30 PM on 5 December 2013 by unidentified people in Mechi Nagar- 4 Magurmadi of Jhapa District while she was also returning home from the office. Journalist Gautam has sustained serious injuries on her head and is undergoing treatment.
Attacks by any network on journalist who has been working to inform the general public is an attack on press freedom and freedom of expression. FNJ believes that this incident challenge the journalist’s professional and physical security. FNJ strongly condemns this incident of attack on journalists. FNJ strongly demands that the government immediately investigate the incident and bring those guilty under the legal procedure and create a fearless and free working atmosphere for the journalists. FNJ would like to wish injured journalists for their recovery.
Journalists were taken under control and threatened
20 December 2013/Kathmandu: Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) is seriously concerned over two different incidents where journalists were taken under control and threatened by the police personnel within the past one week. Correspondent Nirash Tamang and Cameraperson Shailendra Choudhary of Himalaya Television were taken under control for three hours in Capital, while they were collecting information in Police Hospital, Maharajgunj on 17th of December. Similarly, Federation of Nepali journalist condemns the act of Deputy Superintendent of Police, who threatened two local journalist Dev Raj Gurung and Rabin Bhattarai related with the content of the news in Taplejung, (Eastern Region of Nepal) on 18th of December.
Police who are regarded as responsible unit if involved in the act of misbehaving media personnel, and creating obstacle in collecting news, taking journalist under control is a direct interference in the press freedom. Incidents as such have raised a serious question over the security of the journalist. In the first incident, journalists Nirash Tamang, and Cameraperson Shailendra Choudhray were at Maharajgunj Police Hospital for reporting assignment about the health condition of Sub Inspector of Police, Ramesh Nepal who was injured in a fight occurred between police and a group at Sindhupalchok (Central Region of Nepal) two days ago. They were interrupted by the police personnel, misbehaved and taken in to control for three hours and released later. FNJ strongly condemns the incident that blunted the journalist’s right, ensured by the constitution. FNJ demands the government to investigate the incident and punish the guilty and respect the constitutional rights of journalists as well as create a fearless and free working atmosphere for the journalists.
Likewise, in the second incident the two local journalists Dev Raj Gurung and Rabin Bhattarai received threat from Govinda Acharya, of Deputy Superintendent of Police, over the published news which had the content “Use of Government vehicle on holiday to go to picnic by various governmental authorities, misuse of Government property”. FNJ chapter, Taplejung stated that DSP Acharya called the two journalists, and threatened them to come to the police station in order to charge them in Cyber crime for writing such news. If anyone is not satisfied with the published news they can seek a legal act. FNJ condemns the act so done by a responsible Police body. FNJ condemns the incident and also would like to draw the attention of concern party to stop this kind of activity and help press to easily fulfill it’s responsibility.