Nepal | July 14, 2020

FNJ for ‘complete press freedom’ in new constitution

Himalayan News Service
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The Federation of Nepali Journalists on Sunday submitted its suggestions on right to expression and freedom of press proposed in the preliminary draft of the Constitution of Nepal – 2015 to the Constituent Assembly through CA Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang.

An FNJ delegation led by its president Mahendra Bista said the comments, suggestions and feedback it provided to the CA was drawn from a series of discussions and consultations with media experts, lawyers and other stakeholders. According to the umbrella organisation of Nepali journalists, some terms mentioned in the draft are self-contradictory and aim at restraining press freedom.

FNJ has suggested that the CA replace the term ‘press freedom’ with ‘complete press freedom’ in the preamble of the draft constitution. “In the 16th line of the preamble of the draft constitution ‘complete press freedom’ should replace ‘press freedom’.

Issuing a press statement, the media fraternity said it has given an eight-point comment, suggestions and feedback to the CA for necessary correction and revision before promulgating the new constitution.

Meanwhile, FNJ has praised and welcomed the ‘giant leap forward’ made by the CA in writing the constitution as per the aspiration of the people, but demanded that political parties guarantee the provision of ‘complete press freedom’ in the preamble itself for development and expansion of mass media in the country.

FNJ is of the view that the Preamble and some Articles of the proposed constitution are likely to curtail and pose threats to the freedom of expression and press in future. It said journalists will not compromise on ‘complete press freedom’.

In response, CA Chairman Nembang recalled the role played by the Nepali media fraternity against autocracy and emphasised the need to make the freedom of expression and press more viable, efficient and strong. He also expressed commitment to take the comments, suggestions and feedback to the implementation phase through various committees by putting them

up for discussion. Nembang told the FNJ delegation that he had taken the issues seriously and positively.

Likewise, all district chapters of FNJ submitted their comments, suggestions and feedback on the draft constitution to the CA through the concerned district administration offices on Sunday.

A version of this article appears in print on July 13, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.

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