Media society seeks bill’s withdrawal

KATHMANDU: Nepal Media Society on Sunday demanded that the government withdraw from the Parliament the Media Council Bill aimed at curtailing press freedom.

Issuing a press release undersigned by its Chairman Subha Shankar Kandel, the society asked the prime minister and the council of ministers to revise the bill in consultation with stakeholders, including the media society and the Federation of Nepali Journalists.

NMS stated that some of the provisions of the bill were aimed at demoralising the media industry and independent journalism, and were against ‘complete press freedom’ guaranteed in the preamble of the constitution.

“The bill paves the way for the government to become authoritarian,” reads the press release. “Also, provisions that authorise the government to define contempt of court, nationalism, sedition and crime makes clear that the government’s intent to keep with itself the power of the judiciary.”

NMS also stated that it was ready to express solidarity and lead any movement in favour of press freedom.