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Gross misuse of Press Council Nepal to silence media, discredit journalists

Yet again, Press Council Nepal (PCN), a media content regularly body, has 'blacklisted' four online media, arguing that they disregarded its instruction. It has further discredited media researcher and journalists by questioning over the content they shared on social networking site, Facebook.

The PCN warned of blocking www.ehimalayatimes.com in Nepal by writing to Nepal Telecommunications Authority for it. Three other media blacklisted are – www.birgunjcity.com; www.nrnkhabar.com; and www.koshipati.com.

Since the inception of this government, it has continuously exerted ill influence to the state institutions to discredit media, panic journalists and foil atmosphere for free expression.

Www.nepalaja.com; www.karnalikhabar.com; www.deshsanchar.com; and www.setopati.com are other media which are questioned over their news title.

Earlier too, PCN had issued such warning to various media.

It is too ridiculous that PCN has also questioned media persons for sharing cartoon.

To this, Freedom Forum Executive Chief Taranath Dahal observes, "Gross intervention of government in Press Council Nepal has been growing, thereby suppressing free speech. PCN has not only gone beyond its jurisdiction but also being a government tool to create single narrative where criticism has no space. Arbitrary move to control online media and FoE on social media is intended to counter anyone making critical comments on government activities. Broader collaboration is essential to fight such suppression of media and misuse of PCN. Protection of free press needs top priority at present to protect Nepal's democracy."

Moreover, he said the recent question of PCN over news seem politically motivated.

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Kathmandu, Nepal