FNJ flays police interference in media

- Rastriya Samachar Samiti, Kathmandu
Press Council acting chair says that as per Article 19 of the constitution, police cannot ask journalists to reveal their sources

Jan 9, 2018-The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has said the Nepal Police does not have the authority to write letters to the editors, seeking to know the source of news that is published or broadcast and requiring the editor to be present at the police station for an explanation over the issue of that news. 

In a statement on Monday, FNJ General Secretary Ramesh Bista said the federation’s attention was drawn to police asking some online news portals to disclose the source of a particular news report they had published, while asking their editors to be present in person at the police station to furnish an explanation. 

Bista has urged the parties concerned to seek a solution to any grievances over news published or broadcast by mass media through the Press Council. The FNJ has concluded that such incidents would only cause hindrance to the news media in enjoying the freedom of the press. 

“We urge the sides concerned to immediately stop such activities and not repeat them. The FNJ would be compelled to take strong steps, including protest, if such activities against press freedom were not halted,” said the statement, calling on the government and the security agencies to respect the rights provisioned in the constitution.

Following consultations with the representatives from Nepal Press Union, Press Chautari Nepal, Press Centre Nepal, Revolutionary Journalists Organisation Nepal and the Online Journalists Association, the FNJ has also decided to jointly defend the freedom of the press, freedom of expression and protection of the news source.

Meanwhile, the Press Council Nepal (PCN) has urged the police administration not to issue arrest warrant against editors and journalists in the name of seeking source of any news except in cases where it is of criminal in nature. 

Council’s Acting Chairman Kishor Shrestha urged chief of Metropolitan Police 

Range, Kathmandu, Senior Superintendent of Police Rabindra Dhanuk and Investigation Officer Bel Bahadur Pandey during a discussion on Monday over the issue after police issued arrest warrant to editors of three online portals regarding news related to former DIG and House of Representatives  member-elect Nawaraj Silwal. 

Shrestha also clarified that as per Article 19 of the constitution, police could not ask journalists to reveal their sources.

Published: 09-01-2018 07:40

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment