Freedom Forum is alarmed over Press Council Nepal’s order to block an online news portal www.nationaldainik.com for its critical content. The council has requested Nepal Telecommunications Authority to block the portal following the complaint filed over a news story published on the portal on May 6.
The letter issued on May 7 states that- the council found that the portal has violated journalists’ code of conduct and the online is neither registered nor listed in the council. Thus, the portal should be shut down inside the country till next decision.
The news portal had published a news with audio recording about alleged involvement of women leaders in defrauding people and taking hefty amount from them luring of foreign country settlement. The council letter states that one of the women leader had filed complaint that the news was fake and had attempted to defame her.
Freedom Forum condemns the council’s move to shut down the news portal. The council is an authorized body to monitor the media contents and ask the media to furnish clarification but blocking entire media for news publication is a blatant violation of free press and free expression. Press freedom is a constitutionally guaranteed right in Nepal. Press Council must not be misused by authority.
FF therefore strongly urges council to withdraw move to block media.
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