Print Edition - 2015-01-21 | Nation
Attacks on media condemned
Jan 20, 2015-
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) and civil society organisations have expressed their serious concerns over attacks on the journalists and arson on vehicles of various media houses.
Issuing separate statements on Tuesday, they said the activities carried out by the protesting parties are against the freedom of expression and demanded that the government ensure security. In a statement, NHRC Spokesperson Mohana Ansari said the banda has deprived the general public of their basic rights, including the right to free mobility. “It is a democratic right to opt for protest to express disagreement. However, protesters should ensure that their activities are peaceful and calm,” read the statement.
Similarly, the FNJ has also condemned the attacks on media and drew the attention of the protesting parties to ensure that the activities are not repeated. According to the umbrella body of the journalists, around a dozen incidents of attacks on media were reported during the banda called by the UCPN (Maoist)-led alliance.
According to the FNJ, a vehicle (Ba 3 Cha 5850) carrying newspapers from the Biratnagar region office of the Kantipur Publications was set on fire by banda enforcers at Mirchaiya in Siraha while protesters torched truck (Na 3 Kha 3856) carrying newsprint for the publications at Bharatpur in Chitwan. In another case, cadres of the opposition alliance burned hundreds of copies of Kantipur daily at Babarmahal in the Capital.
The banda organisers also vandalised a van (Ba 9 Cha 2933) belonging to Mountain Television and manhandled journalists Srijana Kuinkel and Sharmila Thapa in Babarmahal. In addition, the television’s news chief Surya Khadka, presenter Rohit Bhandari and driver Rupak Shrestha were attacked in another case. They also manhandled Rastriya Samachar Samiti reporter Bhishma Ojha and seized his voice recorder in Babarmahal. Journalists Upendra Man Singh, Devaki Bista and Chhanya Chandra Bhandari from Associated Press, Himal news magazine and News Abhiyan respectively were also manhandled in Babarmahal.
Meanwhile, Kantipur Publications chapter of the FNJ slammed the act claiming that it’s an attack on the right to information and freedom of press.
Issuing a press statement, the chapter’s President Kamal Dev Bhattarai said no parties should disrupt news collection and hamper newspaper distribution.
Published: 21-01-2015 09:13