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


IFJ warns Nepal regime of global isolation

IFJ warns Nepal regime of global isolation and backs journalists in fight for democracy

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today warned that Nepal faces “becoming an isolated pariah state” unless it urgently restores democratic rule, freedom of expression and respects the rights of journalists.

Launching a detailed report on the cost to press freedom since King Gyanendra established autocratic rule a year ago, IFJ general secretary, Aidan White speaking to a mass meeting of editors and journalists from around the country in Kathmandu said that the international community was running out of patience with the king’s abandonment of democracy.

“Nepal is fast becoming an isolated pariah state, unwelcome at the table where democratic nations meet,” he said. “The king must get the message that dictatorship and pantomime attempts to hold so-called elections are no substitute for respecting human rights and democracy.”

He was speaking on the anniversary of the king’s seizure of power as journalists, under the umbrella of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), joined other civil society groups in a “black Day” protest over the widespread denial of fundamental rights.

The IFJ report –Nepal One Year On: Censorship, Crackdown and Courage – gives a detailed account of arrests, detentions and acts of censorship that have blighted Nepali media since February 1, last year. The IFJ yesterday joined with other global press freedom groups in a joint appeal for an urgent return to democratic rule.

The IFJ says that efforts to hold municipal elections are a “shambolic attempt” to give the impression that some notion of democracy still exists in the country. “The routine arrest and detention of human rights activists and journalists and the widespread denial of rights kills any confidence people may have in this faltering process,” he said. “What is needed is a full return to democracy and no half-hearted measures.”

White met with ambassadors and government ministers and insisted that the global support for journalists and other human rights defenders would continue resolutely until the king ends his policy of one-man rule.

He said that the only way to bring about a peaceful resolution to the current conflict with Maoists engaged in a violent campaign in the country, was to promote dialogue and open debate. “Secrecy, censorship and intimidation do not lead to peace;” he said. “They only create more fear, ignorance and insecurity.”

The IFJ praised strongly the unity and solidarity expressed by journalists, editors and other media staff in recent months. “You have provided a magnificent model of solidarity and leadership in the face of powerful and ruthless forces. Journalists around the world are inspired by this commitment and we will continue to provide support until you succeed in bringing democracy back to life in Nepal,” said White.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news