KATHMANDU, April 23: Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has urged the government not to arrest journalists and hamper their work at the workplace. FNJ, the umbrella organization of journalists across the country, complained that of late journalists were being arrested and their work obstructed at the workplaces.
An emergency meeting of the FNJ central committee on Monday made this appeal before the government, stating that journalists were arrested on the basis of holding a particular ideology and belief.
The meeting has decided to organise programme to exert pressure for the immediate release of Jitendra Maharjan, the editor-in-chief of the 'Nhugu Jwajalapa Wa Paun', a Newari language newspaper, who was arrested from the court premises soon after the Supreme Court's order to release him from detention.
The FNJ stated that it would submit memorandum to the Prime Minister, the main leaders of the political parties, former prime ministers, the Speaker of the Federal Parliament and the Chair of the National Assembly, the chief whips and whips of various political parties represented in the parliament and to the Chair of the National Human Rights Commission, April 23 through May 1, calling for release of detained journalists and ensuring freedom of the press and expression. FNJ general secretary Ramesh Bista said that in the meantime the Federation would hold discussion with office-bearers of professional organisations, the leadership of journalists' organisations, the editors of various news media and the leaders of the civil society, at the central, State and local levels, regarding conducting a joint campaign for ensuring freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
General secretary Bista said the FNJ would also organise extensive solidarity rally in support of freedom of the press and expression in the capitals of all the seven states including Kathmandu on May 1. Meanwhile, the FNJ has expressed its serious objection to what it called provisions included in the proposed bill related to the National Human Rights Commission that restrict the commission's authority.
It has demanded that the proposed bill should be amended in a way that the NHRC is made more autonomous and powerful. The emergency meeting also called for guaranteeing the press freedom and the freedom of expression in the laws related to mass communication including the Civil Code Act being considered by parliament and which the government is in the process of drafting. RSS