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Censor Board move curtails freedom of expression

The Film Censor Board of Nepal has imposed censorship on some of the scenes and dialogues of 'Khagras (Eclipse)' - a feature film depicting eclipse as a metaphor to present the dark situation of the country caused by prevailing political chaos - curtailing the sphere of right to freedom of expression in Nepal. In a move to challenge the censorship on the medium of freedom of expression, the film making team is reportedly filing a writ petition in the Supreme Court.

The censor board expressed concerns over some of the scenes and narratives of the film directed by Shailesh Acharya, informed Executive Producer of the film, Nilhari Kafle, quoting the Board's remarks as 'We do not care the scene no matter what it is. But some of the dialogue are not acceptable'.

Though Board In-charge Mahendra Guragain told media that they do have no problem to issue censorship certificate, the film production team has different story to tell. Kafle added, 'The Censor Board prevented us from screening the movie without removing the scenes and muting the dialogue' and further informed that, 'We will go to knock the door of Supreme Court with the written remarks of the Board about the scenes and dialogues to be removed'.

It is constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right to freely express own ideas through any mediums, Producer Kafle stressed, adding that I will file case demanding the scrapping of censor board.

Freedom Forum is concerned on the latest move of Censor Board, which has infringed people's fundamental right to articulate own ideas and expression via any means. The Forum is closely observing the move since it is directly linked to the issue of freedom of expression.

'Film is a powerful medium to reach out own expression, it should not be subject to prior censorship and censoring film is meant to curtail the horizon of freedom of expression', said Freedom Forum Chairperson Taranath Dahal, adding that the State could impose any parts of the movie what it can do is classify film on the basis of the appropriate viewer age'.

Freedom Forum has been demanding the abolition of the Censor Board and establishing the Film Development Board as an independent body with the representation from different social and professional sectors.