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NZ journos protest Nepal sackings

NZ journos protest Nepal sackings

New Zealand journalists are calling for the immediate reinstatement of two Nepalese journalists apparently sacked for political reasons.

The Nepal Press Union – an affiliate of the International Federation of Journalists – says that two reporters from the state-owned Radio Nepal were sacked for covering a peaceful, anti-government political rally.

The NPU says that the sacking was by order of the Nepalese Minister of Information and Communication, Ramesh Nath Pandy.

The union that represents New Zealand journalists, the EPMU, says that no journalists anywhere in the world should be sacked for political reasons.

“The right of journalists to carry out their work without fear or favour is a fundamental aspect of press freedom and of democracy,” said EPMU national secretary Andrew Little.

“It doesn’t matter whether the media outlet is state-owned or private; the only issue for which a journalist should be sacked should be incompetence.”

Mr Little said that it was ironic the sacking had come at a time when New Zealand and Nepal were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the conquest of Mt Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay.

“It highlights just how vulnerable journalists are in a large number of countries, and the fact that we in New Zealand should never take our freedom for granted,” Mr Little said.

New Zealand journalists will write to the Nepalese government protesting the sacking of the two journalists.

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