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Nepal celebrates world press freedom day,end of monarchy-rule

Written by: Staff
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Kathmandu, May 3 (UNI) ''World Press Freedom Day'' is being observed nationwide today under the auspices of Federation of Nepalese Journalists describing the 15- month rule of King Gyanendra as black era in the history of Nepali journalism.

The rule of King Gyanendra was a black era in Nepali journalism as two journalists were killed and 88 tortured, 11 journalists were abducted, 282 attacked and 707 were arrested in the past 15 months, according to FNJ.

At least 39 journalists were displaced, 250 sacked, and 108 newspapers were forced to halt publication, it said.

Paris based Reporters Sans Boarders (RSF) said that Nepal alone was responsible for more than half of the cases of censorship worldwide.

RSF counted 567 instances, while 145 journalists were physically attacked or harassed, the RSF report said.

The report also said that journalists in Nepal are exposed in zones held by Maoists.

''The Himalayan monarch, who is drawn to absolutism, was responsible for more than half of all recorded censorship cases worldwide," according to RSF.

FNJ took out a rally with the slogan of ''press freedom for peace and Loktantra.'' Such rallies, which were banned during the royal regime, are being organised in various districts of the country today.

''The political situation has changed, but we will have to continue our fight relentlessly as new challenges to professional journalism have emerged,''Bishnu Nishthuri, president of the FNJ said.

The FNJ has also released a book about the suppression of press freedom during the royal regime.

In his message on the occasion, UN-Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed firm support for the universal right to freedom of expression and urged all governments to reaffirm their commitment to the rights to seek, receive and impart information.

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