FNJ condemns home ministry for keeping report under wraps

Kathmandu, September 26

The Federation of Nepali Journalists today said its serious attention was drawn to the government’s move to prohibit media from having access to the programme held to submit the report on Nirmala Panta’s rape and murder to the Ministry of Home Affairs in Singha Durbar.

A high-level investigation committee led by Joint Secretary Hari Prasad Mainali had submitted the report to Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa behind closed doors without even disseminating its findings to media yesterday. The MoHA had not allowed media to cover the event.

“The move to bar mediapersons from covering the event and accessing the details of report has not only curtailed the press freedom but also has dealt a serious blow to the citizens’ right to information guaranteed by the constitution,” read a press statement issued by the FNJ.

The umbrella organisation of journalists has demanded that the government respect the constitutional rights of press and citizens in general. The press was neither given any access nor briefed on the contents of the report, believed to contain some 100 pages or more.

“FNJ condemns the government’s act to curtail and harm press freedom and appeals to all concerned to abide by the constitution and prevailing press laws,” it said.

Meanwhile, FNJ has protested the move to prohibit mediapersons from covering news on the meeting of the Parliamentary State Affairs Committee in Singha Durbar today. The committee had not given the media access to the meeting.