Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Court orders Radio Sagarmatha to resume transmission

Kathmandu Nov 29-The Supreme Court on Monday issued an interlocutory stay order to the government not to suspend the Sagarmatha FM.A single-bench of justice Badri Kumar Basnet issued the order after a hearing on a case filed yesterday by the radio station against the government after policemen and officials from the Ministry of Information and Communication on Sunday night raided the studio of the FM station, seized radio equipment and ordered the station to shut down the transmission.

The court also summoned the government authorities to attend a hearing on December 7 that will decide whether to extend the stay order or notThe raid left the transmission from South Asia’s first community radio service run by the Nepal Forum for Environment Journalists (NEFEJ).The authorities had ordered the FM to stop transmission saying the FM had failed to comply with orders issued earlier on.

The government had raided the radio station and forced to shut down transmission when the station was about to air a BBC interview with Maoist leader Puspa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda. The FM had been airing BBC’s Nepali programme for the last six years.

The raid had been widely condemned from various national and international Press and human rights bodies.

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