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Nepal enacts ordinance restricting press freedoms

[JURIST] Nepal's King Guyanendra [BBC profile] has approved a new ordinance tightening oversight of the country's media. Among other provisions, the newly-enacted bill authorizes imprisonment and increased fines of individuals who publish "banned items," prohibits publication of stories that inspire disrespect or hatred of the king, and outlaws FM radio stations that broadcast news programs. Parliament first introduced the ordinance in May, shortly after King Guyanendra seized power [JURIST report] in February, but was delayed by protests that the bill unduly harmed press freedom. The restrictive laws come in the face of ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations in Nepal. Last month, the Nepalese government arrested 87 journalists and other activists [JURIST report] partaking in continued pro-democracy demonstrations. PTI has more.

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