IAM to highlight curbs on media here

Kathmandu, March 20:

The International Advocacy Mission for Press Freedom in Nepal has committed to advocate the country’s ongoing situation before the international community. Expressing deep concern over media restrictions, senior Nepali journalists said that the media has rejected the state regulations and is ‘battling’ the ‘regime.’

“We will advocate and lobby for Nepal’s pressing issues before the international community,” said Jesper Hojberg, representative of the International Advocacy Mission (IAM). “We have a task to focus on the concerned issues in the international scene,” he said, adding that the IAM hopes to work in Nepal as an organisation even after completion of its mission in the country. IAM representatives are expected to meet government officials, civil society and UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights-Nepal chief Ian Martin this week.

Senior journalist Kanak Mani Dixit said the national media is more or less free since it has been fighting for its freedom by rejecting the state regulations. “The battle is hardly over. We have to keep the flame of the media burning,” he said at a programme organised by the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) here today.

Journalists and lawyers, according to him, have taken to the streets like citizens and represent people rather than any other category.

FNJ president Bishnu Nishthuri said the media is being weakened with the state’s repressive measures. “We have many responsibilities and challenges not just to defend overall media rights, but also to defend the weekly vernacular papers,” he said.