Nepal | July 03, 2020

104 cases of press freedom violations in a year

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, May 1

Incidents of press freedom violations continued unabated this year, affecting 158 journalists across the country, according to a report by Freedom Forum, an NGO.

As per statistics released by the forum on the occasion of the World Press Freedom day today, it recorded as many as 104 such violations.

A total of 66 press freedom violations were reported last year. Out of total violations this year, 31 are attacks and manhandling, followed by 28  cases of misbehaviour, 19 threats, 15 arrests, six vandalism and obstruction, one suspension and one arson, and three court cases.

Junior security personnel, political cadres and businesspersons remained hostile to journalists this year too. As per province-wise analysis, Province 3, which is also home to the federal capital Kathmandu, witnessed the highest number of violations (39), followed by Province 2 (25). Province 1 and Province 6 shared equal number of violations (7).

Gandaki Province and Province 5 witnessed equal number of violations (9) and Far-west Province recorded eight cases of violations.

Most of the violations took place while journalists were covering stories on public interest issues, crime, irregularities, corruption and political demonstrations.

This is to be noted that more than a dozen of bills related to information and mass communications were drafted or enacted by the government over the period. However, some provisions in the proposed bills were inconsistent with the international instruments on the rights to expression and the constitution. For example, the Criminal and Civil Code Act posed a threat to the freedom of expression in the name of national security, privacy, defamation, blasphemy, obscenity and hate speech.

In blatant violation of press freedom, obtaining approval from concerned authorities was made mandatory for journalists for taking photographs, the report read.

Similarly, Individual Privacy Act aimed at discouraging journalists to publish or broadcast investigative stories, in the pretext of privacy of public figures and public offices. According to the report, the Bill on Management and Regulation of Information Technology intends to curtail the freedom of expression of internet-based media. The proposed provision of stringent punishment for posting improper contents on social media is equally threatening to media freedom and citizen’s rights to expression.

“Against the broader expectation that journalists and media fraternity would have a favourable atmosphere for free reporting and respect to their profession, the rising number of violations perpetrated against media is a disappointing trend. It is to be noted that this year’s figure is the highest in six years,” according to the report.

 


A version of this article appears in print on May 02, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

TUTH. Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj

49-day-old infant diagnosed with Covid-19 passes away in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU: A 49-day-old infant diagnosed with Covid-19 passed away on Wednesday evening at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), where he was receiving treatment. Ministry of Health and Population, in its regular press briefing, confirmed the passing of the baby. The infant -- resident o Read More...

PM advised to reach out to rival NCP faction

Kathmandu, July 1 A day after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was asked by Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Standing Committee members to resign from both the posts of prime minister and party co-chair, the PM was advised by his aides in the party to reach out to the rival faction. Oli held a meeting Read More...

Nepal could witness yet another huge locust invasion

Kathmandu, July 1 The Locusts Information Centre has warned that a large swarm of locusts is likely to enter Nepal from India over the next couple of days. According to the centre, the swarm of locusts is headed towards Darjeeling from Bhagalpur and Motihari in Bihar. As the swarm is likely to Read More...

Hunger strike by youth activists enters sixth day

KATHMANDU, JULY 1 Iih, 26, who initiated ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign demanding effective handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by the government, has been on fastunto-death in a sattal (rest house) at Patan Durbar Square as his hunger strike entered the sixth day today. Iih has been joined by Read More...

‘Citizenship bill not inclusive’

KATHMANDU, JULY 1 Although the constitution is progressive in terms of citizenship issues it does not guarantee equality. Even after five years of the promulgation of the constitution, necessary amendments have yet to be made to Citizenship Act-2006, as per the provisions of the constitution. Read More...

Obrador

Mexican president to hold first meeting with Trump, Democrats unimpressed

MEXICO CITY: Mexico's president and his US counterpart Donald Trump will hold their first meeting on July 8 in Washington, officials said on Wednesday, sparking complaints from Democratic lawmakers, who saw it as a political stunt with elections looming. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ha Read More...

Twitter removes image tweet by Trump over copyright complaint

Twitter Inc has taken down an image tweet by the US President Donald Trump on June 30, in response to a report from a copyright holder. Twitter now displays the message “This image has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder,” in place of the tweet. News website Axio Read More...

Gunmen kill 24 people in attack on Mexican drug rehab center

MEXICO CITY: At least 24 people were killed in an armed attack on a drug rehabilitation facility in the central Mexican city of Irapuato, Mexican police said on Wednesday, underlining the challenge the government has in fulfilling a pledge to stop gang violence. Police in the city in Guanajuato s Read More...