Nepal | August 12, 2020

2018, a challenging year for freedom of press: Federation of Nepali Journalists

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, January 1

The Federation of Nepali Journalists stated that the year 2018 was not an easy year for media houses and journalists as the government frequently targeted them in an attempt to control press freedom.

It said the year 2018 was a challenging year for the Nepali press world. Communication Monitoring Unit of FNJ recorded as many as 58 cases of press freedom violations. “Though the number of PFVs came down to 58 in 2018 from the previous year’s 73, the media industry suffered a lot in terms of harsh legal provisions stipulated by the government to curtail press freedom,” FNJ said.

Some provisions of the Criminal Code Act and Civil Code Act that came into effect from August 17 related to offence against state, public peace, defamation and right to privacy were meant to tighten the noose and curtail freedom of expression and press freedom through draconian laws.

The umbrella organisation of journalists had launched a pressure campaign to make the government amend or revise such provisions.

According to FNJ, at least 15 journalists were attacked and 13 others threatened for their work. Similarly, 12 journalists were intimidated or harassed in the course of news reporting or due to publication or broadcast of news. “The journalists were not allowed to report news in six cases,” it informed.

Four media houses suffered seizure and one underwent policy obstruction. One journalist went missing. FNJ said journalist Tej Bahadur Khadka, who worked for Bajura-based Radio Budhinanda and was also a member FNJ Doti Chapter, disappeared on his way home from Budhinanda, a holy site, in the far-western district on August 26.

Likewise, six journalists were arrested during the period. Raju Basnet, Anjila Sapkota and Gopal Chandra, among others, were held by police and faced charges under the Electronic Transactions Act. “If any party is not satisfied with the news published or broadcast, he/she may file a complaint with the Press Council Nepal. But police arrested the concerned journalists without following due legal process,” it said.

FNJ also said the government barred the journalists from reporting news of programmes to be organised in the Office of the president, mobility of VIPs and the meeting of parliamentary committees. People’s elected representatives also threatened, intimidated and attacked journalists.

Meanwhile, FNJ has condemned anti-press activities and demanded that the government fully implement the provisions of complete press freedom guaranteed by the constitution.

As per the 2018 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, Nepal slipped down to 106th position with 32.05 points. In the year 2017 Nepal was in the 100th position with 33.02 points among 180 countries.

 


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


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

849 passengers arrive on last day of fourth phase of repatriation

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 10 A total of 849 Nepalis were evacuated today via five flights. According to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) evacuated 151 passengers and Himalaya Airlines repatriated 149 passengers from Doha in Qatar. Himalaya Airlines also brought h Read More...

Dengue

Don’t let COVID-19 overshadow the risk of dengue

The human race is currently going through a scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since then, more than 200 countries have fallen victim to this virus. There are more than 4 million active cases acro Read More...

Antonio Banderas says he's tested positive for coronavirus

NEW YORK: Antonio Banderas says he's tested positive for COVID-19 and is celebrating his 60th birthday in quarantine. The Spanish actor announced his positive test in a post Monday on Instagram. Banderas said he would spend his time in isolation reading, writing and “making plans to begin to g Read More...

Ganges River flows with history and prophecy for India

ALONG THE GANGES: More than 2,000 years ago, a powerful king built a fort on the banks of India’s holiest river, on the fringes of what is now a vast industrial city. Today, little of the ancient construction remains, except for mounds of rubble that tannery workers pick through for bricks to b Read More...

Trump abruptly escorted from briefing after shooting near WH

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted by a US Secret Service agent out of the White House briefing room as he was beginning a coronavirus briefing Monday afternoon. He returned minutes later, saying there had been a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control. Read More...

Flooded Thopal River wreaks havoc on Dhading rural roads; settlements at risk

DHADING: Human settlements on the banks of Thopal River are at a risk of being swept away by flood triggered by incessant rainfall in Dhading district. Squatters and villagers residing on the river banks next to district headquarters Dhadingbesi have been terrorised as flow of water in the ri Read More...

Digitised interventions for social inclusion: Adapting to the unwelcomed crisis

Last year, two world-class wheelchair basketball coaches visited Nepal to conduct an intensive sports training aimed at raising the level of sports in the country. The training brought together more than 40 female and male wheelchair basketball players in Kathmandu - athletes and citizens living wit Read More...