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Journalist receives death threat from police officer

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - Freedom Forum is concerned over a recent press freedom incident that occurred in Rautahat, a district in the southern plain of the country on August 12 2011.

Gambhira Sahani, head constable at the central regional police office, threatened to kill journalist Bikash Agrawal because of a news story he published in a newspaper.

In an interview with Freedom Forum's media monitoring desk, Agrawal, chief editor of "Bypass", a local daily published in Birgunj, said that the head constable at the regional office in Hetauda, Sahani, threatened him by saying that his life was short as he would be shot soon. The threat came from the phone number 057-521499, in the control room of the regional police office.

He further stated that the threat was regarding news he published on August 10 2011 - entitled "Mobile police file complaints against their fellow workers in the Home Ministry and Police Headquarters without disclosing names".

Freedom Forum condemns the fact that journalists have been the target of threats and attacks not only from non-state actors but also from members of the state and the security apparatus. If the security apparatus itself is involved in acts that serve to terrorize people, what is their purpose?

Freedom Forum urges the government to honour press freedom by providing journalists with security and promoting the right to information.
Moreover, police officers responsible for incidents against the media must be brought to book.

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