The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) and the Nepal Press Union (NPU) in condemning recent incidents obstructing the free flow of information in Nepal.
On December 16 the ground station of Nepal’s only Direct-to-Home (DTH) television service provider, Dish Home Media Network Private Limited, was damaged by a improvised explosive device. The damage halted DTH service in Nepal. The Communist Party of Nepal, a Maoist group led by Netra Bikram Chand, aka Biplab, claimed the responsibility adding that the DTH service provider was targeted for broadcasting Indian channels.
The attack completely blacked out TV service to half-a-million households in Nepal for two hours before the service providers resumed partial operation with less than one-third of normal channels.
Similarly, protestors in Rajbiraj of Saptari district in the southern part of Nepal have been seizing all national newspapers to prevent their distribution. The political group which has been protesting since the new constitution was promulgated in September this year have accused national media for not covering their issues in unbiased manner and since have been blocking the distribution of the national newspapers.
The FNJ said: “The acts of obstruction in broadcasting and distribution of media, under any circumstance, is against the international norms and constitutional provisions. It violates the freedom of press and expression. The FNJ condemns the attacks.”
The NPU said: “The attack on any media or media related houses under any pretext is against the norms of free press. The NPU condemns the attack.”
The FNJ and the NPU have demanded with the government to ensure free broadcasting and distribution of media.
The IFJ said: “The attacks on the media are a blatant attack on press freedom, by groups wanting to change the news to suit themselves. The Nepali government must take action to end these kinds of attacks against the country’s media.”
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