Saturday, February 26, 2011

Nepal: Concern over incidents of press freedom violations in Nepal

Source: IFEX

Freedom Forum expresses concern over incidents of press freedom violations in Nepal. Its attention has been drawn recently towards an incident in the Tarai region in the country.

Freedom Forum is deeply concerned over the news that journalists were detained by the police in Rautahat, who accused them of reprinting a press release by an armed group on February 24, 2011.

Those arrested are the chief editor of "The New Times Today" weekly, Ram Pukar Raut, and editor Pravin Sharma Jha.

Although the district police office accused the journalists of having links with an underground armed group in Tarai, a media person associated with the weekly said the police arrested the two journalists in retaliation after a report was published about the police taking hush money from an animal smuggler.

Thus far police have not been able to produce any evidence against the journalists.

Freedom Forum strongly urges the police administration to immediately release the journalists, if they are being held despite having done nothing wrong.