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Nepal’s Civil Society And Journalists Seek Immediate Withdrawal Of Three Bills

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KATHMANDU: Civil society has urged the government to immediately take away the three bills registered in the Federal Parliament.

They have expressed concerns over the Bill to amend the ‘National Human Rights Act- 2068 BS’; the ‘Media Council Bill- 2075 BS’ and the Bill relating to ‘Social Organisations Act- 2075 BS’ and sought their instant withdrawal.

Speaking at a civic dialogue organised by the Joint Civic Campaign here today, civil society activists claimed the documents were inconsistent with the constitution. The very first bill has proposed a fine from Rs 25 thousand  to one million against any media house, publisher, editor, journalist or reporter in case of found guilty in damaging someone’s dignity or reputation.

At the programme, Federation of Nepali Journalist (FNJ) vice-chair Bipul Pokhrel was of the view that imposition of penalty on journalist just for writing the news in the context of guarantee of full press freedom in the constitution was against democracy and  violation of people’s fundamental rights.

The FNJ has launched programmes of protest against the bill registered in the parliament lately, citing that it is capable of curtailing press freedom.

National Human Rights Commission director Murari Kharel expressed his reservation over the Bill to amend the ‘NHRC Act-2068 BS’ as he claimed the document seemed against the constitution, international principle, norms and values of human rights (Paris principles).

The Clause 17 (A) in the bill seemed that the NHRC would remain as the subordinate to the Office of Attorney General and it should be removed. Besides, the bill can cut off the NHRC rights to independently investigate incidents of human rights violation and recommend the filing of case.

Meanwhile, the FNJ Kaski,Tanhun and Doti Chapter has protested the Media Council Bill presented by the government to the parliament recently.

Published Date: Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 | 06:20 AM

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