International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today welcomed the ten-point
agreement between the Nepal
government and the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), which led to the
cancellation of a nation-wide demonstration over growing attacks on the media.
signing the agreement, the Information and Communications Minister Krishna
Bahadur Mahara, has reportedly said that the government would make a firm
commitment in ongoing debates in the Nepali Constituent Assembly, to
safeguarding press freedom and ensuring the security of journalists and media
to the information received from the FNJ, an IFJ-affiliate, the Ministry will
create a special bureau to receive all complaints of press freedom violations,
which would promptly refer all such cases to the appropriate official bodies
for action. There would also be a special task force constituted to propose a
long-term policy on press freedom and journalists' safety.
agreement also embodies a commitment on the part of the Government to
investigate and initiate legal action against those believed responsible for
recent attacks on the media in Nepal.
note that within a day of the agreement being signed, there were both positive
and negative developments on the media front in Nepal", said Jacqueline Park, the
IFJ Director for the Asia-Pacific.
the positive side, one union affiliated with Nepal's
ruling Maoist party lifted its siege of the offices of the media group Kantipur
in the district town of Biratnagar,
allowing the group to resume operations. This allows time for the media
management to implement all clauses of the relevant labour agreement in line
with the applicable laws", said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.
on the negative side, we note that the Maoist union raised its banner at the
office of the media group APCA Nepal, in defiance of a judicial injunction and
in disregard of the established norms for recognition of a union".
IFJ urges all sides in Nepal
to ensure that the law on recognition of unions is scrupulously followed and
that there is no coercive takeover of established workers' bodies.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents
over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries