The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists in over 110 countries, strongly condemns the Nepalese Government’s threats to revoke Kantipur FM’s broadcasting license.
On October 26, the government issued a 24- hour ultimatum to Kantipur FM to come up with a formal explanation for failing to comply with the recently introduced media ordinance. The government threatened to revoke the station’s license should it fail to submit the written explanation within the stipulated time or if the explanation was not satisfactory.
“The Nepalese Government has struck yet another devastating blow against the independent media in Nepal,” said IFJ president Christopher warren.
“Kantipur FM has remained proudly independent and committed to informing the Nepalese community since the royal coup in February, and it is vital that it continues its work in exposing human rights abuses and corruption in the king’s regime,” said the IFJ president.
“We can not stand by and allow such autocratic attacks against the media to continue,” said Warren.
The ultimatum follows an attack against the station on October 21, when dozens of armed police officers stormed into the station and seized vital equipment after the government accused the station of going against the new media ordinance.
The ordinance, put in place on October 9, banned news programs on FM stations, restricted media licences, forbids any news damaging to the king or members of the royal family, and increased penalties for defamation ten-fold.
“The new media ordinance goes against the spirit of the 1990 Nepal Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, and is sure to strangle any attempts for a free media in Nepal,” said Warren.
The IFJ calls on the Nepalese Government to immediately stop its autocratic attacks against the press and allow freedom of expression to flourish in Nepal.
For more information about the Nepal crisis visit http://www.ifj-asia.org/page/nepalcrisis.html
For further information contact Christopher Warren on +61 (0) 411 757 668
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries