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BBC journalist prevented from working in Mount Everest area

(CEHURDES/IFEX) - CEHURDES, a Kathmandu-based freedom of expression monitoring group, expresses concern over the restrictions imposed by authorities on a journalist in the base camp area of Mount Everest.

Charles Haviland, a BBC journalist, was impeded by ministry of tourism officials from reporting from the base camp on 28 April 2008.

"Just a short while after arriving at the Everest base camp we were politely but firmly told to leave by an official from Nepal's ministry of tourism. We knew there were restrictions on video cameras and satellite phones but were now told even pre-recorded radio material on non-political subjects would not be allowed. Nor would chats with mountaineers," Haviland has said while reporting the incident.

The Nepalese officials have strengthened the presence of security forces in the Mount Everest base camp area as the Chinese are preparing to take the Olympic torch up Mount Everest from their side.

The Nepalese officials say that they have increased security and controlled information flow in order to prevent any untoward incident that could disturb the travel of the Olympic torch.

CEHURDES is concerned over this restriction on press freedom and would like the authorities to fulfill their commitment to respect this freedom.

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