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Press Freedom News

Journo receives death threat over news

A local Sukmaya Tamang in Kanchapur district issued death threat against editor and publisher of Hello Punarwas weekly and executive editor of the Seti Samachar daily, Ranjit Lama, on March 24 over a news story on a border firing which had claimed a life of a youth. Both the media outlets are run from Kanchanpur, a city situated in the far-west of Nepal.

On a conversation with Freedom Forum, editor Lama shared, "At 4:00 pm Friday, Sukmaya Tamang (aka Kali) called me by a mobile number 9809461166 and threatened me of 'breaking my head and doing whatever she wanted on meeting me'. I am frightened to go to my own home at Punarwas. Some days ago, members of a local struggle committee torched the newspapers and even blocked its circulation."

Journalist Lama further said the local struggle committee members obstructed newspaper circulation, arguing that the news published was not in favour of the country.

FNJ Kanchanpur and Nepali Police have been informed of the threat, he added.

Freedom Forum condemns the attempt of the locals to silence the media, which is indeed a gross violation of press freedom. FF strongly urges the concerned authorities to guarantee security to journalist Lama.


For More Information

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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Writ petition filed at SC against Online Media Directive

Policy Watch

A writ petition has been filed at Supreme Court against the Online Media Operation Directive the government issued recently.

The Directive was issued to make systematic the registration, renewal, operation and monitoring of the online media.

Filing petition on Sunday, journalist Prabesh Subed and advocates Baburam Aryal and Santosh Sigdel, demanded the SC to repeal the Directive, arguing that it was against freedom of expression, right to information and the constitutional provisions.

Meanwhile, various media related organizations have expressed concern over the Directive, saying that it was oriented towards control of internet-based media rather than their management.

The government had published the Online Media Operation Directive on gazette on March 20.

Chairman of Federation of Nepali Journalists Dr Mahendra Bista protested the Directive that the government did not heed the suggestions the FNJ and other media organizations gave relating to the Directive. "It has come not in a way to manage but to control the online media," he underscored.

According to him, the government brought the same old Directive that was against the freedom of expression on internet.

Similar version of the protest to the Directive came from General Secretary of Press Union, Ajay Babu Shivakoti, Chairperson of Press Chautari Nepal, Ganesh Basnet and former Chairman of FNJ Bishnu Nisthuri. They said the government needs to bring the online media directive based on the stakeholders' suggestions.

Source: RSS

For More Information,

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

 

   

Concern over Online Mass Communications Operation Directive 2017

Policy Watch

Freedom Forum has been alarmed over the issuance of the Online Mass Communications Operation Directive 2017 through its publication in the gazette.

Since the government made attempt to bring the directive relating to online media, FF has been constantly watchful whether it fully embraces the freedom of expression principle and international practice.

A year back, the Ministry of Information and Communication floated the proposal as 'Online Media Operation and Management Directive 2016' to which FF showed serious concern that it was faulty and discouraging to internet-based media, which is gaining ground with the gradual expansion of internet in Nepal. Receiving severe criticism from the FoE defenders as FF, the Ministry had withdrawn it, saying it would garner suggestions and amend accordingly.

But it has been brought with slightly different name 'Online Mass Communications Operation Directive-2017' this time without any fundamental difference from the earlier version.

Amazingly, the Directive has been brought under the  Good Governance (Management and Operation) Act-2007 which means the government has taken online media as a medium for good governance and as a government entity to deliver service rather than as a vibrant medium to boost the practice of freedom of expression and bring citizen's voice in the main stream. The internet-based media are therefore not recognized equally as other media and the employees on it as journalists.

Ridiculous enough, the 'online journalism' is defined as a mere technical work in the internet.

Most importantly, anyone- even the TV and newspaper running online service - has been asked to register their online media and renew it. In the name of registration, there is high chance that government would take steps to suppress freedom of expression at any time.

"As the internet is a free, open and vast regime, the expression (journalism) through it must be respected equally as other form of media in line with universal principle of freedom of expression. Registration is unjust step to block this open medium," said Freedom Forum Executive Chief Taranath Dahal, demanding the immediate repeal of the Directive.


For More Information

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

 

   

Government employees manhandle reporter Yadav

Government employees have manhandled reporter with Nagarik daily from Bara, Upendra Yadav, over news story. The staffs at District Forest Office manhandled and spoke foul word on him on 8 March. Bara lies on the southern plains of Nepal.

He was misbehaved for writing a news story entitled "50 cubic feet timber seized" which was published in the Nagarik daily.

Talking to Freedom Forum over phone, Reporter Yadav said, "Around 1:00 pm officers from District Forest Officer called me for a meeting with them at regarding the news on seized timber. After I reached there, DFO Bhairab Ghimire started talking foul on me for writing news against them and then, assistant forest officers Bindheswor Patel and Shiv Shankar Thakur tried to attack me. However, a local UML leader stopped them."

On further enquiry about the news, reporter Yadav argued that the news was evidence based.

Freedom Forum condemns the incident that which is a gross violation of press freedom. Intimidation on journalist Yadav has caused fear of government officials. Despite writing an evidence-based news, the hostility from the the responsible government employees is condemnable. They must acknowledge the role of media for democratic society.

For More Information

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

   

High Court upholds District Court decision of life imprisonment to Journo Uma Singh's murderers

Impunity Watch

Janakpur High Court has upheld the District Court Dhanusha's decision of life imprisonment to murderers of journalist Uma Singh. In the verdict issued on March 15, three convicts of Singh's murder- Nemlal Paswan, Umesh Yadav alias Swamiji and Singh's sister in law Lalita Devi Singh were sentenced life imprisonment with confiscation of entire property.

Division bench of Judges Narayan Prasad Pokharel and Chandra Bahadur Sadhu issued the verdict on the 2009 murder case.

After the District Court verdict in 2015, the murderers had knocked the Appellate Court (which is now turned into the High Court as per the federal set up).

Reporter with local Janakpur Today daily and Radio Today, Uma Singh, was excruciatingly killed in her rented house on January 11, 2009.

Earlier, District Court Dhanusha had issued a decision on remanding custody to convict of Arun Singhaniya's murder Sanjay Sah on December 1, 2016. He is still facing the case.

Though very late, the court decision has received applaud. Freedom Forum heartily welcomes the Court's decision that is a set forward to cater justice to victims. It is expected that the decision is to help in reducing impunity on crimes against media persons in the country.


For More Information

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

 

   

Reporter receives death threat

A private school principal at Lahan city of southern plain in Nepal issued death threat to correspondent with Naya Patrika daily, Dilip Singh, for a news on March 20.

Reporter Singh was threatened of life over the news published on arrest of fake invigilator from exam hall during the ongoing Secondary Education Examination.

During telephonic conversation with Freedom Forum, reporter Singh shared, "In the evening around 4:30 pm while I was writing news, Principal of a local Ideal English Boarding School, Murari Saha, suddenly approached me, and threatened of hacking to death into asking why I wrote the news. Saha’s school’s centre was also allocated at the same school where the arrest took place."

Reporter Singh argues that he had covered the news after witnessing the invigilator helping students cheat during the exam and the subsequent arrest from onsite.

Chief District Officer and the police officers were informed in written after the death threat, the reporter added.


Freedom Forum strongly condemns the incident that is a gross violation of press freedom. It was an attack on journalist's right to free reporting. The security agency including the Chief District Officer must be aware to prevent possible attack on reporter Singh. The teacher, despite being an aware citizen in the society, emerged hostile to media person, which is quite abhorring.


For More Information,

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

   

Media denied easy entry into stadium premises for reporting

The media persons were barred from entering the TU stadium thereby hindering the reporting on the ongoing cricket match played between Nepal and Kenya on March 11.

Media persons had reached stadium to report on the Nepali team's training on the eve of the first match. The World Cricket League Championship match was held between Nepal and Kenya. Security persons did not allow their entry despite sporting Pass given by the ICC. The security persons told reporters that they had the instruction not to allow reporters inside the stadium.

Later, they managed to enter, but due to sorry state of management, they had to make news despite rains.

Freedom Forum condemns the obstructions and hassle the reporters had to face while reporting. The security's barring of journalists hindered the atmosphere for free reporting. The concerned authority must realize the mistake and respect press freedom. 

For more information,
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu
Post Box No: 24292
Phone No. 4102030, 4102022
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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

   

Film denied approval merely over its 'title'

The Film Development Board Nepal has denied the approval for the development of a movie named “Gajabaja”, directed by Ganesh Dev Pandey (Tuka Entertainment) merely because of its 'title' (Gajabaja).


Director and the producers of the film shared the information with Freedom Forum that FDB denied approval to the film arguing that the term 'gaja' (marijuana) would promote marijuana.


Gaja is a contraband in Nepal.


The FDB refused to recognize the film merely because of its title, they said, adding that it was denied production since February 2016.


When the line ministry was inquired about this, it too said the word 'gaja' could be omitted, as it would not give good message.


Now, even a case has been filed at Supreme Court by the director and producers against the non-issuance of approval.


Freedom Forum condemns the obstruction on production of the film. It has grossly violated freedom of expression. The title of the film is neither offensive nor provocative. The title has nothing to wrong the social issue. Rather, as the producers argue the film is a story of change that discourages marijuana.


FF therefore strongly urges the FDB and the line ministry to immediately provide the approval to the film and protect and promote freedom of expression.


For more information,

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

   

Concern over shutdown of FM radio by security persons

Freedom Forum has been alarmed to know that an FM radio run by the Central Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Tribhuvan Uniersity was shut down for three days due to obstruction from security persons.


The TU FM 107 Mhz located inside the RR campus in the Kathmandu Valley was shut after security obstruction.


Issuing a press release, the Department Head, Chiranjivi Khanal said, "The FM radio was closed after the police persons did not allow any of the journalists citing the 'order from high level' on the day (Feb 6) the election of the free students union was scheduled at RR Campus."


Mr Khanal also informed Freedom Forum over the phone that they tried to convince the security persons for resuming the radio and meet the Information Minister, but in vain. He added that security persons were told that election of student union and running FM radio were different, but they were not adamant.


Although FF phoned the high level security to know the matter, it was not responded.


FF vehemently condemns the incident, as it is the blatant violation of press freedom and freedom of expression. The security hostility to media even within the capital city is quite abhorring.

FF therefore strongly urges the TU administration, Nepal Police and the government to immediately create atmosphere to run the radio.


For more information,

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

   

Police person attacks reporter

Correspondent with The Himalayan Times, Prabhat Kumar Jha, from Rautahat district was injured in a police attack while reporting about protest on February 26. Rautahat lies in the southern plain of Nepal.

During a telephonic conversation with Freedom Forum, reporter Jha explained, "A clash broke out between the riot police and cadres of the agitating Madhes-based parties after the cadres demonstrated against a political leader. When I was there covering the incident for the news, an Armed Police Force person kicked me on my leg and stomach. I am taking medicine to relieve pain".


He further said he was showing is Press Card but the police continued kicking.


Freedom Forum condemns such hostile act against journalist by the security person. Secured and free reporting atmosphere for journalists is an utmost requirement in democracy. The police persons mobilized to control mob must separate journalists from mob and must exercise restraint. The attack despite sporting the Press Card is violation of press freedom.


For more information,

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

 

   

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