News websites blocked over critical news in Nepal08 Feb, 2017
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliates the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) and the Nepal Press Union (NPU) in expressing serious concern over the Nepal Police’s attempt to block news websites over their content. The IFJ urges the Nepal government to ensure such incidents of violation of press freedom do not repeat in future.
According to report, Nepal Police corresponded with the National Telecommunication Authority (NTA) to block the access of four news websites – newssewa.com, karnalikhabar.com, diyopost.com and arthiknews.com – for their contents about a senior police official. The NTA, the telecommunication regulatory body, ordered the internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to the websites with immediate effect, making the sites largely unavailable in Nepal for hours.
FNJ secretary Dhruba Lamsal in a statement said: “The control over the media is an interference, and FNJ demands action against those involved in blocking the websites and urges the stakeholders to ensure free flow of information.”
NPU General Secretary Ajaya Babu Shiwakoti said: “The NPU condemns the action of the Nepal Police to obstruct media which is against the constitutional provision of freedom of expression and press. The NPU urges the authorities to ensure a conducive environment to enable the unhindered exercise of these constitutional rights.”
The IFJ said: “The IFJ is seriously concerned about the arbitrary act of the Nepal Police and NTA in blocking the access to the news websites without following the proper process. The blocking of news websites without judicial orders hinders the free flow of information and is a violation of press freedom. The IFJ urges Nepal Government to ensure that such action is not repeated in future.”