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Commission calls for government to strengthen press freedom

Graphic: Men sit outside to read the newspaper, Kathmandu

The National Human Rights Commission has reported a growing number of incidents of intimidation against journalists during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The National Human Rights Commission has reported a growing number of incidents of intimidation against journalists during the COVID-19 lockdown and called on the government to strengthen press freedom in the country.

The Commission said in a statement that 22 journalists have either been arrested, threatened, attacked or mistreated in the course of their reporting during the lockdown.


Men sit outside shop and catch up news, Kathmandu

The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that Lok Karki, a reporter for Radio Dhangadhi, was detained for six days in Doti district in the far western region of Nepal while filming a disagreement over the distribution of food and other relief amid the pandemic.


The Commission also drew attention to a growing practice by those in authority to deny journalists access to information.

In addition, some journalists have been denied their salaries from media outlets, which has compelled them to look for other work.

The Commission said it wanted to "draw the attention of the government to the incidents of intimidation against journalists and to ensure a smooth flow of information, while also ensuring that journalists are paid for their work".

In addition, the Commission has drawn the government's attention to the poor management of quarantine facilities across the country where around 167,000 people are currently housed.

Date: 6 June 2020

Source: National Human Rights Commission


Image credits

  1. Men sit outside to read the newspaper, Kathmandu - Photo by Saclino, Flickr CC
  2. Men sit outside shop and catch up news, Kathmandu - Photo by Byron Lippincott, Flickr CC