World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Media Blackout Outside Kathmandu - Royal Crackdown

Media Blackout Outside Kathmandu in Nepalese Royal Media Crackdown


The International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) grave concerns for the safety of media in Nepal were reinforced today after it was confirmed that King Gyanendra has ordered a complete black out of all media outside the Kathmandu Valley.

The IFJ received reports that soldiers told media houses to shut down, “until further notice” in Pokhara, a city 200km west of Kathmandu.

“You don’t have to publish news from now onwards. This is the responsibility of the Kathmandu-based daily papers,” quoted army personal to a local reporter from one of the Nepali dailies.

It’s been reported that all the private media houses are now being run by military personnel since the February 1 takeover. The IFJ has reports of army majors dictating to editors what to include in editorials in Jan Ashta.

All the FM stations outside the Kathmandu valley have been closed down. Radio Sagarmatha, the first community radio station in South Asia, is now being run by the Royal Nepal Army. It has banned any news, discussion or regular programs from broadcast.

The local administration and army battalion head quarters of Rupandehi district in Western Nepal have ordered Butawal F.M and Lumbini F.M to stop broadcasting and have ordered Mechi Kali, Daily Lumbini, Jana Sangharsa and Naya Disha to discontinue publishing.

Khagendra Sangraula, prominent columnist of Kantipur daily has been arrested and is being detained at the Armed Police Head Quarters in Halchowk, Kathmandu, for his previous critical articles against an active monarchy.

All communication lines into and within the country remain cut off, as the military has taken charge of all internet-service providers and the two companies providing telephone and communication services, Nepal Telecom and UTL.

Ironically, the only outside link left remaining on BBC Nepali service website is a link to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Government, currently under house arrest.

The IFJ continues to have grave concerns for journalists and those committed to freedom of expression and, in particular, those who have in past been critical of the King.

The IFJ has documented Nepal’s grim history of violating human rights and freedom of speech. Nepalese journalists have been under intense pressure over the last three years during the CPN (Maoist) bloody struggle to establish a "people's republic" and abolish Nepal's constitutional monarchy and the state’s attempt to control the movement.

More than 100 journalists were arrested during the previous state of emergency from November 2001 to August 2002 and many of them were subjected to torture.

Eight journalists and one media worker have been killed since May 2002 and hundreds more threatened and attacked.

To date IFJ affiliates and partner organisations have delivered protest letters to Nepalese Embassies and consulates in Sydney, Moscow, Tokyo, Washington, New Delhi and Dhaka and journalists across the world have condemned the media crackdown and suspension of other basic freedoms in Nepal.

“Denial of information during this crucial time is a denial of basic human rights to the Nepali people, ” said IFJ President Christopher Warren.

“We reiterate ours and the FNJ’s calls for a quick return to democracy and that the King ensures the rights and safety of journalists in Nepal,” said Warren.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO: