Scribes protest curbs on press freedom

Himalayan News Service

Nepalgunj, July 3:

Journalists across the country today rallied through the thoroughfares of the major cities to protest against curb on press freedom. Today in Nepalgunj, a rally of journalists went through the city and later turned into a corner meeting at the Tribhuvan Chowk. President of the Press Chautari Nepal Banke unit, Bal Krishna Chapagain, expressed his organisation’s solidarity to the movement and said curtailing press freedom was a reaction by the government with a defeated mentality. The FNJ Banke chairman, Prem KC said the agitation would continue until democracy and press freedom were restored. Report from Rupandehi said, the FNJ Rupandehi branch today organised a pro-democracy rally demanding press freedom and democracy. It rally began from the Traffic Chowk and turned into the corner meeting at a highway junction. Addressing the meeting, FNJ Rupandehi president DR Ghimire said the agitation aimed at pressing restoration of press freedom.

In Pokhara, the FNJ’s second phase of protest programmes could not take place today.

Coordinator of the protest programme Keshav Sharan Lamichhane said organising a protest did not hold any meaning. Zonal Commissioner chairs as a chief guest when the FNJ organises a function and at the same time the FNJ protests against the undemocratic government. “What is the meaning of this dualistic attitude?” he asked. Likewise, the agitating journalists organising a whistle rally demanded press freedom in Baglung, today. The journalists carried banners reading pro-democracy slogans and blew whistles as they moved through the thoroughfares of the Baglung bazaar. In the corner meeting organised after the rally, FNJ Dhaulagiri branch chairman Rajesh Chandra Rajbhandari charged the government of showing indifference to the agitation launched by the journalists.

Journalists in Ramechhap also organised a pro-democracy rally. FNJ branch members slept in the middle of the streets at Manthali with their mouth closed with a black band, to protest curb on press freedom. Vehicular movement was disrupted for about half an hour. The FNJ Ramechhap president Himal Dhungel warned the government to immediately stop arresting journalists and said the movement would continue until press freedom was restored. In Narayangadh, the FNJ Chitwan branch today organised a protest rally by blowing conch shells. The rally, led by the FNJ central member Bishnu Chhimeki, started from the Lions Chowk and went around Shahid ,Chowk Pulchowk and turned into the corner meeting at the Narayani bridge.