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Public hospital staffer threatens journalists

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - Agandhar Tiwari, a reporter for the "Rajdhani" daily in the western Myagdi district, received a death threat from the staffer of the district hospital in Myagdi on 11 August 2010.

Tiwari was threatened while he was taking snapshots of an x-ray machine belonging to the hospital, in the course of reporting.

Arun Kumar Mandal, who said he was in charge of the x-ray department, threatened Tiwari, saying that he could do anything if a news report about the x-ray department was made public.

However, according to Tiwari, Mandal was there without a hospital uniform or identity card. "Though I showed my press pass, he didn't bother to look at it and kept on threatening me," Tiwari said after the incident.

Earlier, Mandal had warned Harikrishna Gautam, a reporter for News24 Television channel saying Gautam may face bad consequence if he carried the news report.

Freedom Forum-Nepal denounces the incident and calls upon the local authority to provide security to journalists and take immediate action against the culprit without delay. Since the constitution of Nepal has guaranteed freedom of reporting in public places, this kind of threat from a government official is against the notion of press freedom. Freedom Forum also urges Mandal not to repeat such an incident in the days to come.

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