Federation of Nepalese Journalists Condemns Royal Crackdown on Media and Democratic Values in Nepal

<center>Federation of Nepalese Journalists

Tara Nath Dahal, President

(unofficial translation)</center>

2 February 2005

The Royal announcement made yesterday, by ending the spirit and value of the Constitution of Nepal, is a coup against democracy and peoples’ rights. This has undoubtedly destroyed the fabric of democracy and has also confirmed that the lives of ordinary civilians as well as national values are in grave danger.

The Federation strongly condemns and expresses disagreement on this historic and enormous mistake. To believe that following a path like this will restore peace and democracy is standing against the values and ideas of modern civilization.

The Federation of Nepali Journalists does not believe that, in the 21st century, the country can progress and achieve democracy through an ‘imposed’ monarchy by the King. This move has also ended freedom of expression, press freedom and other rights of the citizens that were won after great struggle and sacrifice.

Press censorship and the presence of the army in media houses have begun. Communications have been completely disrupted. Now there is no free press and it has been effectively killed. At this time, the Federation of Nepali Journalists believes that its duty is to fight for freedom of the press, democracy, a just peace and national freedom. We also believe that it is important to fight for this with courage and determination in order to guarantee the right of the Nepali people to information.