Saturday, October 29, 2005

Government action against Kantipur FM illegal: NHRC

Kathmandu, Oct. 29-The National Human Rights Commission has said that the government's action against Kantipur FM was unconstitutional and illegal and urged the government to return the equipments seized from the Kantipur FM on October 21.

The NHRC report, after days of investigation, states the government has violated Articles 14, 17 and 22 of the Constitution and Articles 9, 14 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Right though the government is a signatory to the accord.

A statement issued by the NHRC on Friday said that the NHRC said it had drawn the conclusion following conflicting claims by both parties — the government and the Kantipur FM officials.

The NHRC stated it had found that Kantipur FM had been airing news after acquiring a license from the government and even the recently promulgated Media Ordinance also permits airing of news if the government has already granted the license. "It has been found that Kantipur FM was not given appropriate time to clarify its position, " the statement said

The national rights body also urged the government to respect the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution and to protect the life, property and freedom of speech and expression of journalists.

“The government did not follow provisions required by Sections 116 and 172 of the Court Management Chapter of the Civil Code while conducting the raid on the FM station at night,” the NHRC said.

The government authorities took away key equipment used to uplink the FM’s transmission to Bhedetar station in the eastern region on October 21, saying it was airing program defying recently promulgated ordinance, which prohibits to air program from different locations at the same time

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