FNJ threatens protests

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 12, 2018-

The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has warned it would stage protests on the streets if the provision related ‘contempt’ is misused to impose ‘pre-censorship’ by the court and the Press Council. 

FNJ General Secretary Ramesh Bista said, “Pressing the contempt of court charge against the Kantipur Publications for publishing news related to incompetency of the Chief Justice and ordering the Press Council Nepal to stop publishing stories are actions against the freedom of press. If the court gives verdict of similar nature, then the FNJ will be compelled to go out in the streets.”

The hearing of contempt of court case against Kantipur Publications for writing news exposing the different birthdates and certificates of the Chief Justice Gopal Parajuli is under way.

Earlier, the single bench of Chief Justice had asked Kantipur to appear before the court and asked the Press Council to perform ‘censorship’.  

Calling the move aimed towards diluting freedom of press and expression, a high-level team of FNJ, on Sunday, visited Kantipur Publications offices to express its solidarity with the Kantipur. 

“The provision of press freedom is enshrined in Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If anything against this provision is stated in the constitution that will also be scrapped immediately, let alone the decision of a justice,” said FNJ Vice-chairman Bipul Pokharel. 

“The FNJ will condemn any act or decisions aimed  at shrinking spaces of press freedom as such acts are against the existing constitution and UDHR,” he said, adding that matter of one judge’s character could not represent the whole judiciary. 

“One can register a complaint at the council or file a case in the court, claiming if they are victimised,” said Pokharel, “But one cannot misuse their power to suppress the press freedom.”     

The FNJ has said that Chief Justice Parajuli’s order of censorship to Press Council and council’s clarification sought with Kantipur should be taken seriously. 

On behalf of Kantipur Publications, Kantipur daily Editor-in-Chief Sudheer Sharma, The Kathmandu Post Editor-in-Chief Akhilesh Upadhyay, Kantipur daily Editor Hari Bahadur Thapa have drawn attention of the FNJ team saying, by attacking Kantipur, Chief Justice Parajuli has tried to muzzle the whole media fraternity. 

Published: 12-03-2018 07:20

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