APRIL 26, 2009 The management of government-controlled Nepal Television (NTV) has imposed pre-censorship on TV programme "Nagarik Bahas (Citizen Discussion)" on April 24, Friday.The fortnight4ely programme, which is being aired since February 13, aims at fostering democracy and facilitating constitution-drafting process. National Election Monitoring Alliance (NEMA) is the producer of the programme.
The pre-censorship move was taken at a time when the government was expressing its commitment to ensure press freedom on the occasion of the third anniversary of the establishment of democracy.
The NTV officials had informed Pradeep Ghimire, the programme host, over the phone about the move just two-and-half hour before the programme was aired at 9.30 PM, Friday, according to Ghimire.
The episode was to broadcast an interview with journalist Yuba Raj Ghimire and Nepali Congress(NC) spokesperson Arjun Narsingh KC on the implications of government's move to seek clarification from Army Chief Rookmangud Katawal and other political issues.
Freedom Forum strongly condemns the regressive move of NTV management on the pro-public programme terming it an assault on right to freedom of expression and people's access to information. "The move does not uphold the constitutional rights bestowed to citizen and is against the international standards and practices; it has ignored the basic norms and values of democracy and people's supremacy", said Taranath Dahal, Chairperson of Freedom Forum.
The Forum asks the TV management to withdraw its decision to impose pre-censorship and allow the unobstructed airing of the TV programme.
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