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India's blockade on Nepal blocks free flow of information

This statement was originally published on on 1 October 2015.

Cable operators in Nepal banned Indian TV channels in response to the undeclared blockade of essential goods including cooking gas and petroleum products to Nepal.

The Ministry of Information and Communications has directed the cable operators to lift the ban, requesting a justification.

The cable operators are however afraid of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) led by Biplab, as the latter have pressed them not to operate the channels citing the blockade.

With the ban of the TV channels, free flow of information is blocked and freedom of expression violated.

As free expression is an issue key to people's rights and shouldn't be restricted by borders, Freedom Forum urges India to lift the Nepal blockade and respect people's right to freedom of expression. Once the blockade is lifted, normalcy would return and media will be operated freely and in a fearless atmosphere.

Publications of newspapers stop due to lack of printing materials

Meanwhile, reports have come from different parts of the country that various media houses have stopped publishing newspapers due to the lack of the printing materials such as paper and ink. There is a huge scarcity of such materials since India's blockade to Nepal.

In Biratnagar, a city in the eastern plains of the country, the local Udghosh daily, Ujjyalo daily, New Shristi daily, the Darshan daily have not appeared on newsstands for two days, as there were not enough printing materials, said a senior journalist Bijay Mishra. Similarly, the national daily Nagarik has also stopped its 'purveli' (eastern) edition for the same reason.

Freedom Forum urges India again to lift the blockade and respect people's right to freedom of expression and right to information.


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