Media Society warns against anti-press rulesNepal Media Society has said its attention has been drawn to the Criminal Code that comes into effect from Friday, urging the government to amend its anti-press provisions immediately.
Nepal Media Society has said its attention has been drawn to the Criminal Code that comes into effect from Friday, urging the government to amend its anti-press provisions immediately.
In a statement on Thursday, the Society strongly objected to the code’s provisions related to privacy and defamation that pose serious threat to press freedom.
The NMS urged the government to remove the provisions against press freedom and to pay heed to Article 19 of the constitution that deals with the freedom of media.
The umbrella organisation of the country’s mainstream media outlets has demanded that the government should make it clear legally that the provisions will not apply to mass communication media.
“From a broader perspective, Clause 293 of the Code that forbids listening to or recording of private conversations between two or more individuals without their consent directly violates the constitutional right of the press to collect, publish and broadcast information,” it was stated.
“Clause 295, which prohibits sharing of any secret information known during one’s professional career without the person’s consent or when required by the law, attacks the key spirit of journalism,” the NMA stated further.
“Journalism itself is an investigative task. Media outlets across the world make the people aware by exposing the state’s arbitrariness and ensuring people’s right to information, as part of the democratic exercise,” read the statement.
“The media always respects sensitivities about defamation against any person or an individual’s right to privacy. But Nepali media can’t tolerate censorship or legal action by the state on the pretext of defamation [slander or libel]”
Threatening to resort to “any kind of struggle” to defend free press and people’s right to information, the alliance has called on civil society, political parties and other stakeholders to remain vigilant.