Incident Reports

Journalists attacked for reporting about Covid-19

2020-04-17

Province 2, Dhanusha, Sahidnagar

Journalists Manoj Mourbait and Sibendra Rohita were attacked on April 18 (Friday) at 8 PM on Kohalpur of Sahitnagar Municipality-9, Dhanusha. The duo journalists were assaulted by a gang of five on their way home from reporting about the COVID-19. Their laptop and camera were also seized. Dhanusha district lies in province no. 2.

Mourbait and Rohita are reporters to Janakpur Today and www.khojkendra.com (a web-based news portal) operated from Dhanusha district.

According to FF’s representative Rajan Singh, a group of five people beat the duo which resulted in a deep cut in the head of journalist Rohita. Maurbait has also sustained injury due to the beating. Furthermore, they pointed towards Mayor Udaya Barbariya of Sahidnagar municipality who ordered such an attack. The duo has been admitted in Janakpur Zonal Hospital.

Rohita said, “On Friday we were making a report about the Quarantine facility of Sahid Nagar. These facilities are in a worrisome state with no proper service in place.” To learn about the municipality’s position on this issue, they visited the municipality office. Shortly after that, he ordered to launch an attack.

In the past too, the mayor Barbariya had threatened the Journalist Mourbait for writing news against his administration. The duo had been disclosing about the mismanagement of funds by the Barbariya’s administration.

Freedom Forum vehemently condemns the use of force on journalist in the time of crisis, resulting in serious injury. The duo was actively reporting in the time of crisis to help the state which would ultimately help to make strong administrative measures. Attacking the duo reporting about such sensitive issues at this time is a shameful act. Hence, FF strongly urges the local administration and security authority to fairly investigate the case and punish the perpetrators thereby, ensuring a secure atmosphere for journalists.


Details and Impacts
Violent / Non-violent Violent
Onesided / Twosided Onesided
Collective / Interpersonal Interpersonal
Primary Form Assault (small group)
Secondary Form Attack on Journalist
Weapons Unclear
Primary Cause Issues related to freedom of expression and civil rights
Secondary Cause Quarantine Management
Actor 1 - Number of people 5
Actor 1 - Affiliations Local authorities (incl VDC, district, gov. line agencies at local level except education and health)
Actor 1 - Youth unknown
Actor 2 - Number of people 2
Actor 2 - Affiliation (Target) Journalist/Media
Actor 2 - Youth unknown
Total Injured 2
INSEC , National/Online Media

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