An online news portal www.rupaantaran.com has been blocked since January 21. The news portal was run by a noted journalist Kishor Nepal from Kathmandu. Kathmandu is the federal capital of Nepal.
Two weeks ago, journalist Nepal wrote in a tweet - 'My only news portal has been blocked. What the anger with the words! It hurts a lot for being censored for practicing press freedom and freedom of expression.'
He has further accused 'cyber army' of blocking the website reasoning he used to write news and opinions critical to the government.
In this connection, Freedom Forum made an inquiry on Cyber Crime Bureau of Nepal Police, which responded that they were uninformed about the case.
Similarly, Assistant Director at Nepal Telecommunication Authority, Sunil Khatiwada, confirmed that the site was not been blocked by NTA.
Whether the news portal is blocked or banned, it has violated internet freedom, freedom of expression and press freedom. It is a violation of the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution. Lately, the cyber-surveillance has grown in Nepal, which might have the hand behind it as journalist Nepal guessed. The misuse of authority to suppress citizen's rights can not be imagined in democratic system. If any side had dissatisfaction over the news content, legitimate move of complaints could be adopted rather than blocking the website.
Freedom Forum therefore urges the concerned authorities to facilitate for the immediate restoration of news portal run by noted journalist Nepal.
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