Freedom Forum is concerned over the burning of Kantipur publication's Nepal magazine in Hetauda on May 26. Hetauda city lies in Province 3.
According to FF representative from Province 3, Rammani Dahal, Nepal Communist Party (NCP) cadres burnt Nepal magazine, showing concern over the cover image of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, depicting him as comrade 'bahubali' in the magazine. 'Bahubali' means man with muscles, wielding power and pressure on others.
In a telephonic conversation with FF, Nepal magazine editor Basanta Basnet said, ''Burning magazine is against freedom of expression and press freedom guaranteed by the constitution of Nepal. Use of satirical image while presenting news is the common practice and is internationally accepted trend in journalism."
This edition of the magazine with the satirical image of PM Oli on cover page has a special focus on how Nepal's Prime Minister Oli has insatiable greed for power. The magazine (Nepali language) has explained 21 incidents that have empowered Prime Minister to wield additional power and undue pressure to the subordinate bodies and even the ministers. With this overture, various institutions are under Prime Minister's grip to act as per his desire. Autonomy of institutes is dying in the Oli regime, the news analyses concludes. Even the agencies set up for vigilance for good governance are rendered toothless with Prime Minister's attempt to bring those under his office.
For some editions, the magazine has been exposing how the Oli-led government in Nepal has been practicing sheer non-transparency and single-handedness in law and policy making, thereby avoiding the participatory approach. Many laws are drafted via detour and avoiding the regular process, so that the Prime Minister's office can foist anything it likes.
It is noteworthy to mention that in recent days, the new laws and policies this government have made have drawn huge criticism for failing to address inclusive and democratic values. IT Bill and Media Council Bill are the latest to these ill efforts.
Some months back, because of tremendous pressure from the ruling party, a singer was forced to lift his video song from YouTube.
Freedom Forum condemns the incident as it is a sheer violation of free press. Burning magazine over the use of satirical image is against constitutionally guaranteed provision for freedom of expression and right to information. Hence, FF strongly urges the concerned authority to investigate the case and bring to book the perpetrators.
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