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IPI National Committee celebrates World Press Freedom Day

(IPI/IFEX) - The following is a 3 May 2008 press release of the IPI Nepal National Committee:

IPI National Committee in Nepal Celebrates World Press Freedom Day

Kathmandu, 3 May 2007 - On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day 2008, the International Press Institute (IPI) Nepal National Committee, extends its heartiest felicitations to journalists across the world and expresses its solidarity with all of them in the struggle for attaining a better press freedom situation in their respective contexts.

On this occasion, IPI Nepal would also like to take the privilege of congratulating Nepalese journalists for their role in disseminating information during the recent historic elections for Constituent Assembly (CA). It also extends its best wishes to them as they undertake to enhance the quality and professionalism of their work in coming days.

The situation of press freedom and freedom of expression is not entirely satisfactory in Nepal. Nepalese journalists still face multiple barriers to the dissemination of fair and factual information. Intimidation, threats, harassment and various other violations still hound the media sector.

In the two and a half months before the CA elections (10 February - 30 April 2008), a total of 76 press freedom violations occurred in Nepal.

These include 23 cases of physical attack against journalists and/or media houses, 5 cases of threats, 5 cases of property damage, 17 cases of hindering media, 19 cases of intimidation and harassment, 4 looting incidents, 2 cases of denial of information, and one case of a journalist gone missing.

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, we urge the government, political parties, and all others concerned to respect the press as an agent of information, progress and development, and to ensure full and unhindered access to sources of information.

Padma Singh Karki
IPI National Committee in Nepal

IPI, the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, is dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of press freedom, the protection of freedom of opinion and expression, the promotion of the free flow of news and information, and the improvement of the practices of journalism.

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