Nepal press still under threat, says International Media Mission

February 9th, 2009 - 4:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Kathmandu, Feb 9 (ANI): The International Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression Mission said that press freedom in Nepal continues to face serious threats.
During a press conference here on Sunday, Thomas Hughes, a member of the Mission said, The ongoing attacks, threats, and harassment of media personnel and organisations are having chilling effects on press freedom.
Media is being forced into self-censorship, seriously jeopardising the peace process currently underway in the country, Hughes added.
A pattern in the attacks and harassment is discernible. Critical reporting is being met with violence and perpetrators go unpunished, Kantipur quoted him as saying.
The international media mission said links between political parties and some perpetrators of these violent acts are a matter of serious concern and indicate possible complicity of those political parties in the violence.
Concerned by the attacks on media houses, including Kantipur, Himalmedia, Ankush Daily, Ramaroshan FM and APCA Group, the mission said, Such attacks are unacceptable. Any substantive grievances over working conditions must be addressed through dialogue and negotiation.
Calling on the government to protect and promote press freedom, the media mission has also made various recommendations to Nepal government in this regard.
The recommendations include the inclusion of provision to guarantee press freedom in the new constitution, proper implementation of the Right to Information Act, end to government control of media, establishment of an independent regulator for broadcasting, abolition of criminal defamation and enforcement of Working Journalists” Act.
The international media mission includes 15 international organisations including UN agencies. (ANI)

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