FNJ call to free all detained scribes

Demands axing of Press Council chief

Kathmandu, May 1:

The sixth central executive committee meeting of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) today demanded the government release all detained journalists and pay compensation to those injured and the ones held for a long time. While Tej Narayan Sapkota and Rajendra Gautam are currently detained in Nakkhu Jail, Hom Prasad Basyal is in Butwal jail.

The FNJ has demanded the government reinstate and compensate all journalists thrown out of different media bodies by the royal government. The body has also asked the government to scrap all ordinances, orders, policies and circulars issued by the previous government.

The FNJ also urged the new government to make public details of expenses made during the distribution of advertisements through the one-door policy and expenses incurred while giving out Dashain bonus.

The journalists’ body demanded the dismissal of persons appointed in political posts during the royal regime and a halt to different programmes advocating autocracy being aired through the government-run media. It asked for the dismissal of the chairman of the Press Council, Mathvar Singh Basnet, and the reclassification of the newspapers, thereby cancelling the old Press Council classification, while also urging the government to roll back hike in mailing rates.

Saying that private media were barred from covering important events in the past, the FNJ called upon the government to privatise government-owned media.