Int’l Press Freedom Day observed

Kathmandu, May 3 :

Nepali journalists celebrated International Press Freedom Day today with rallies and workshops in liberal atmosphere following the end of King Gyanendra’s direct rule, which started on February 1, 2005.

A rally was taken out from Bhrikuti Mandap this morning. Addressing the mass, chairman of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists Bishnu Nisthuri said though days of struggle for media has ended, a new age of responsible media has begun.

Balkrisna Chapagain of the Press Chautari Nepal congratulated journalists for being successful in restoring democracy in the country.

A workshop on press freedom was also organised by FNJ. Prakash Mathema and Krishna Humangain were awarded with Sridhar Acharya Journalism Award. The award carries a purse of Rs 111,000.

Human rights activist Krishna Pahadi and Nepal Bar Association president Shambhu Thapa addressed the function.

The Reporters’ Club and Association of Nepalese Indigenous Journalists also greeted journalists to mark the occasion. Earlier, journalists Rajendra Sthapit and Nitu Pandit were awarded with Kriyashil Journalism Award at a separate programme yesterday.

IFJ report on Nepal

KATHMANDU: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Wednesday launched Fourth Annual South Asia Press Freedom Report titled “Journalism in troubled times: The struggle for press freedom in South Asia 2005-2006”. In the report, a comprehensive list of cases of media freedom violations and attacks on journalists from May 2005 to April 2006 has also been compiled. “Dangerous and difficult are the two words which sum up the daily reality for journalists and media workers in South Asia,” IFJ director Jacqueline Park said in a press release. The report contains stories of courage and professionalism by our colleagues across the region. The IFJ has welcomed the reinstatement of Parliament. “With over 200 reported cases of arrest, physical torture and injuries of journalists covering pro-democracy demonstrations, immediate guarantees of safety for journalists are needed,” the IFJ statement said. — HNS