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Govt gags media freedom, freedom of expression

Yet again, the government has made an ill-attempt to gag freedom of expression by seeking clarification with the Radio Nepal, a state-run media, for presenting the views of a leader of the opposition party in a talk program on December 31, 2012.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai who is also the Vice-Chairman of the ruling Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) himself questioned the line Ministry why such program was aired by Radio Nepal.

Executive Director at the Radio Nepal Suresh Karki and program presenter Pramod Dahal were subsequently grilled by the Government Secretary.

"Government's act of seeking clarification with media over the free expression of an individual is a gross violation of freedom of speech and freedom of expression which the constitution has fully guaranteed," said Taranath Dahal, Chairperson of Freedom Forum.

According to him, the government led by the Maoist party is time and again panicking journalists and media houses and suppressing citizen's right to freedom of expression and media freedom. PM Bhattarai's efforts demonstrate an authoritarian attempt to keep the media always under control which does not suit a democratic culture, he added.

PM's move to suppress opposition's views about resembles autocratic system.

It is worth mentioning here that the same government last year had grilled Nepal Television and demoted its General Managar Deepak Mani Dhital for screening a program of the opposition parties.

Therefore, Freedom Forum vehemently condemns the government's attempt against free media and citizen's rights to freedom of expression.