FNJ warns Press Council Nepal of disobedience if the latter does not correct its decision

Published On: November 3, 2022 01:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Nov 3: The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has decided to disobey the 24-hour explanation asked by Press Council Nepal to the Editor-in-Chief of Nagarik daily, Guna Raj Luitel, regarding the viral cartoon ‘Call KP Ba’.

Press Council Nepal's 24-hour clarification letter was received on Monday by Luitel, the editor-in-chief of Nagarik daily. FNJ Central Office, FNJ province branches, Nepal Journalists Federation Associate Province as well as Cartoonists’ Club of Nepal, Freedom Forum Nepal and Nagarik daily have expressed serious objection to this move of the Council. They have expressed serious concern that the Council asked the editor for an explanation within 24 hours in order to curtail the freedom of press and freedom of expression.

Various associations related to the media sector have urged Press Council Nepal to correct its decision immediately and warned of defiance if it did not correct the decision. A team of various organizations including FNJ General Secretary Roshan Puri reached the office of Press Council Nepal on Tuesday and requested Chairman Balkrishna Basnet to withdraw the decision. They also informed Basnet that they will disobey the Press Council’s order if it does not change its decision.

Participants in the meeting said that although the affiliated organizations are committed to fully complying with the journalists' code of conduct, which was created in collaboration with FNJ, the council's latest explanation is biased. The participants in the meeting said that the cartoon published in Nagarik Daily was only a reflection of the promises or expressions made public while he was handling different government positions including the Prime Minister. 

The participants said that it is the responsibility of the media to question and warn people holding public positions including KP Oli. Journalists and the media have considered that the explanation asked by the Press Council Nepal about the cartoon published in Nagarik Daily is a result of prejudice. 

In a meeting with Council President Basnet, FNJ General Secretary Puri said that the cartoon published in Nagarik daily did not violate the code of conduct, considering that the work of the cartoon genre is to warn against distortions and inconsistencies. Urging the Council to withdraw its decision immediately, General Secretary Puri opined that asking for clarification on general issues would curb freedom of press and expression.

General Secretary of Federation Associate Province Royal Acharya said that in the past cartoons were published in various media including Nagarik daily and now they are asking for an explanation based on prejudice. He requested the council chairman Basnet to withdraw the decision immediately.


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