Freedom Forum condemns NA’s FM radio plan

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 11, 2017-

The Freedom Forum, an NGO working for protection and promotion of human rights, press freedom, has expressed a serious concern over news report that the Nepal Army was preparing to run FM radios.

“The plan of the Nepal Army (NA) to run FM radio is a wrong concept, for it is a sheer breach of people’s rights. FM frequency is purely a public property,” the forum said in a statement on Monday. The Post published a story on Monday about the NA’s plan to run seven FM stations--one in each province. 

At a time when the concept of Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) was broached in Nepal, and amid discussion and debates whether to transform the state-run Radio Nepal and Nepal Television to the PSB model, the NA’s move is a mistaken concept that violates the democratic principles and values, it said. “Only the PSB can ensure people’s access to media, and creates foundation to ensure other rights to the people,” it said. 

The NA had recently completed a test transmission in Dipayal.

“Running media by NA is not only ridiculous but also condemnable because it, instead of ensuring right to people, tends to violate their rights, keeping in centre the interest of the security agency. There is high chance that the radio getting misused and controlled as the security agency turns aggressive and suppressive,” forum’s Executive Chief Taranath Dahal said in the statement.

Demanding that the NA withdraw its decision, the forum has called on the state to take concrete steps to implement the PSB model to ensure freedom of expression and information. 

Published: 11-07-2017 08:03

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