Freedom Forum has been alarmed over the direction of Election Commission (EC) to the Press Council Nepal ‘to present the chief editor of the Deshantar weekly before the EC within three days’.
Issuing a press release on July 31, the EC issued such direction, arguing that the news published recently by the weekly was false and baseless.
The circular also directed the Press Council Nepal, media content regulatory body, to take action against the Chief Editor.
Freedom Forum condemns the direction EC made as it is the blatant violation of press freedom. Executive Chief Taranath Dahal observes, “EC’s direction has come tampering the FoE and press freedom. The way the direction is made reflects autocratic mindset to suppress the media despite the fact that free media is the pillar of democracy. EC is not the proper body at all to regulate media content, so it is speaking against it jurisdiction.”
As Executive Chief observed, the EC however could complain at the Press Council Nepal if it had the reservation on the contents of the news.
Healthy criticism is imperative to check the irregularities in the State agencies. But, such hostile behavior of the constitutional body has not only panicked the entire media fraternity, but also signaled the suppressive attempt.
The weekly had published news about the gross misuse of budget by the Election Commission.
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Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np