Hidden Nook

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Monday, June 13, 2005

Nepal Cracking Down On Journalists

[Media Source*]

(Hat Tip: Gateway Pundit)

KATMANDU, Nepal - Nearly 100 journalists were arrested Monday after scuffling with police during a protest to demand King Gyanendra immediately lift media restrictions in Nepal imposed four months ago...

Protesters from the Federation of Nepalese Journalists were arrested as they marched into a restricted area near the royal palace, chanting: "Free the press! Withdraw censorship!"

Police bundled them into buses, and the detainees shattered some bus windows as they were driven away. Some protesters were injured in the scuffles.

Nepal, once a former democracy has been placed under the iron grip of King Gyanendra who claims that these measures are necessary in order to fight against the communistic rebels that have been fiercely fighting against the nation's military. Although their have been calls by the international community for a restoration of public freedoms (with some cutting off military ties), little external pressure has been placed on the royal family to ease media censorship.

Journalists have staged several protests since Gyanendra seized power. Criticism of the king, the government and security forces has been banned, along with any independent reporting on the country's communist insurgency. Journalists must get all of their information on security issues from the army or police.

The journalists demand a restoration of press freedom and an end to harassment and arrests. They also oppose a proposed law they say will further tighten media control.

Some of these journalists have gone underground, fleeing to the blogosphere where their voice can be heard unfiltered and uncensored. Nepal, once a peaceful democracy under the threat of a communistic takeover, is now being oppressed by the very government that was suppose to ensure it's liberty.

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By Darnell Clayton • 9:44 PM • Email Post • •


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