Kathmandu, January 30:

The Center for Human Rights and Democratic Studies (CEHURDES) is deeply concerned about the government crackdown on media. It has urged the government to respect press freedom and immediately free detained journalists without conditions.

The rights organisation also expressed concern over the arrest of Shrinagar FM station manager, Jagdish Bhattarai, in Palpa. The security forces reportedly detained him from his residence at midday today.

Similarly, Chamena Bhattarai, a journalist working for a daily in Birgunj, is also under a 90-day detention for no good reason. The security forces arrested Bhattarai at Bara District Administration Office yesterday. She was reportedly invited to the Bara DAO to collect information, a CEHURDES statement said.

“The threats to and the arrests of journalists is a conspiracy to wipe clean media’s identity,” CEHRDES said in its statement today.