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Maoist party bans Indian film in Nepal

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - 3 October 2012 - The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) led by Mohan Baidya has launched a campaign to ban the use of Hindi films in Nepal, thereby curtailing people's right to freedom of expression and information.

Due to the ban, several film halls in the capital city have been closed and FM stations and local televisions in various parts of the country have halted their service.

As film is also a medium for free expression, it is a universal matter and should not be bound by any frontier. The Maoist party's ban on Indian/Hindi film in the name of nationalism is just an extremist reaction and an affront on human rights.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

The ban on Hindi films is therefore a blatant violation of freedom of expression and the right to information.

CPN-Maoist, a faction party formed following a recent split from the ruling Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), has continued to carry out activities that are posing threats to democratic norms and values. It has been sowing terror among the population, in a manner reminiscent of the insurgency period.

Should there be any concerns about the content of a film, this matter can be addressed through the proper channels with due process. However, objecting to a film simply on the basis of language is an extremist idea and a suppression of people's right to know.

At the same time, the government has failed to provide security to film halls to ensure that they can safely screen the programs in question.

Freedom Forum therefore vehemently condemns the Maoist party's ban on Indian film. It strongly urges the government and concerned authorities to address the matter.

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