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Nepal: Press Freedom

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on levels of press freedom in Nepal. (269654)

There is a diverse and lively press in Nepal expressing different political viewpoints. However, we are concerned about increasing intimidation and violence against journalists. Attacks are from a range of sources, including Government Ministers, major political parties and their sister organisations, armed groups and businesses. Despite commitments by the Government to protect human rights widespread impunity has meant that attacks on freedom of expression go unpunished, leading to cases of self-censorship by journalists.

We repeatedly raise concerns about freedom of expression at all levels with the Government of Nepal, both bilaterally and with the EU. Our embassy in Kathmandu also supports civil society initiatives to promote freedom of expression.