Journos briefly taken into custody

Chitwan, April 27

Two local journalists who were out for reporting during the lockdown today were briefly detained in Chitwan.

Police had picked up Kayakairan Daily editor Binodbabu Rijal and Radio Tribeni journalist Arjun Adhikari from Chaubiskothi of Bharatpur in the morning accusing the duo of violating the government lockdown.

Detained and then put in quarantine in the covered hall of Bharatpur, they were later released after about one-and-a-half hours in the presence of representatives of Federation of Nepali Journalists Chitwan chapter.

According to the journalists, police abused and detained them even after being told that they were mediapersons. Police took their vehicles and communication tools under control.

Meanwhile, FNJ Chitwan chapter, Press Organisation Nepal Chitwan and Nepal Press Union Chitwan have expressed serious concerns about the abuse and detention of mediapersons at the hands of police.

“We strongly condemn the abuse and detention of journalists,” read the statement issued by FNJ Chitwan Chairperson Radheshyam Khatiwada, Press Organisation Nepal Chitwan’s Prakashmani Gyawali and Nepal Press Union Chitwan Chairperson Anil Dhakal.

The organisations have sought action against police personnel involved in the abuse and detention of on-duty journalists and demanded that the damage caused to their vehicles and communication tools be reimbursed.

“Journalists are doing their job of informing the public by being on the frontline during this critical time. We hereby ask the administration to recognise this contribution of journalists and be sensitive towards their security and create conducive environment for them to work,” read the statement.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 28, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.