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Concern over press pass distribution by Nepal Army in regional event

Concern over press pass distribution by Nepal Army in regional event

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.

No entry to reporters in parliament committee meeting in Province 3

Moreover, another story of press freedom violation comes from Hetauda, the capital city of Province 3.

Journalists were barred from reporting the meeting of various committees under the provincial parliament.

At a time when the committees are discussing on the formulation of various laws and policies, the reporters are not allowed to report live the meetings.

It has not only obstructed the free flow of information but also created room of non-transparency.

Freedom Forum condemns the incident, for it has violated journalists' right to free reporting.

For More Information

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

Email:  monitoring@freedomforum.org.np;  info@freedomforum.org.np;