Freedom Forum is alarmed over deletion of an article critical to the government from a State-owned newspaper’s online version on December 7. The newspaper, Gorkhapatra daily, is run from the federal capital of Nepal, Kathmandu.
The article entitled- Expectations from Nepali Congress’s general convention (in Nepali language) – was written by Ghanashyam Bhatta and published on both print and online versions of Gorkhapatra national daily on the same day.
Few hours after its publication, the article was removed from the online news portal www.gorkhapatraonline.com.
On this, author Bhatta reportedly posted a status on his Facebook account stating- the article has been deleted due to political pressure, Poor democracy!
His article was about the upcoming general convention of the ruling political party Nepali Congress and its leadership.
The incident depicts authoritarian move of the government and political leaders. Removal of the article from the news site is sheer violation of press freedom and serious insult of the writer. Criticism of politics, government and leadership is an exercise of freedom of speech, so deleting the opinion article from media shows anti-press activity. The government is urged to build tolerance and protect press freedom for sustainable democracy.