The International Federation of Journalists today welcomed comments from the British Ambassador to Nepal, who has declared that the new media ordinance introduced by the Nepalese Government is a threat to democracy.
Ambassador Keith G. Bloomfield said the British Government had always been in favour of democracy and press freedom around the world, and could not support any move to control the press.
Bloomfield has been summoned by the Nepalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs twice before for his outspoken remarks about democracy and human rights.
“The IFJ applauds the British Ambassador for his supportive comments, and urges more officials to publicly object to these laws that are undermining and silencing the media in Nepal,” said IFJ president Christopher Warren.
UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura has also appealed to the Nepalese Government to reconsider the new ordinance.
Matsuura said in a press release that the laws would particularly affect the upcoming elections called by King Gyanendra. He argued that any legislation that justifies censorship and curtails the ability of the media is incompatible with a free and open electoral process.
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