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Nepal 16 February 2005

Eleven steps to safeguard press freedom

As the international community works to help restore democracy in Nepal, Reporters Without Borders has sent the Nepali government, via its embassy in France, a list of 11 urgent steps it should take to safeguard press freedom, damaged by recent decisions from the palace and the military.

As long as the Nepalese government fails to take these steps, the organisation will continue to campaign for Western countries to impose political sanctions on the Himalayan kingdom. EU and India’s ambassadors have been withdrawn from Kathmandu for consultations and the United States is planning to suspend aid, including military.

Reporters Without Borders also sent a list of ten Nepalese journalists who have been imprisoned, five of them arrested since 1 February 2005. Among those arrested was Bishnu Nisthuri, Secretary General of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists.

Eleven urgent measures to save press freedom in Nepal

1. Repeal the prohibition, imposed on 1 February, on the publication of any negative information about the king, government or army for a period of six months.

2. Withdraw the directives issued on 7 February to newspaper editors about authorised news and information.

3. Allow news programmes to resume on FM radio stations.

4. End the blocking of privately-owned TV stations and international TV stations.

5. Reopen all provincial media.

6. Release imprisoned journalists.

7. End the control which the security forces have been exercising in the editorial offices of newspapers, especially opposition weeklies.

8. Reopen community radio stations.

9. End the harassment of the leaders of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists.

10. Allow the FM re-transmission of the BBC World Service’s Nepali-language programmes to resume.

11. End the censorship of news websites.




In this country
30 April - Nepal
Radio station threatened by Maoists
8 February - Nepal
Nepalese media in great danger, International Press Freedom Mission finds
14 January - Nepal
Four arrested for woman journalist’s murder, while clandestine group claims responsibility
12 January - Nepal
Journalist and women’s rights activist brutally murdered
23 December - Nepal
Militant maoists continue their attacks against the media

in the annual report
Nepal - Annual report 2008
Nepal - Annual report 2007
Nepal - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
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