Freedom Forum is concerned over the distribution of special press pass by the Nepal Army for the journalists to cover the ongoing fourth BIMSTEC Summit in Kathmandu. Allocating press pass by NA is sheer breach of the jurisdiction of the Department of Information (DoI).
The DoI is the authorized government body to issue the accreditation card (press card) and could issue the special press pass for the journalist in view of the special event, but highhandedness of the NA is objectionable.
Due to this, many journalists were deprived of live reporting of the important international summit.
Freedom Forum representative Mr Ashok Dahal stated that the DoI had earlier sought the applications from media houses for the special press pass for the SUMMIT. But later, the DoI shared quoting a fellow colleague, Arjun Pokhrel, “The DoI informed the pass will be issued only after Special Security Department of Nepal Army checking the application at first,” he said.
To this, Freedom Forum Executive Chief Mr Taranath Dahal observes, "Media management by Army is quite absurd. Media is an independent entity and involvement of army as distributing press pass bearing signature of security persons is against press freedom. Such practice must be stopped immediately."
Similarly, DoI, the authorized body to distribute the press pass should be free from the security agency. For the security purpose, army can check the application but the press pass must be released under its name. So, it was the misplaced priority of the security agency.
Freedom Forum condemns the incident, for it has violated journalists' right to free reporting.
For More Information
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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np
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