Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TWMN urges IFJ for Acharya's release

Kathmandu, January 21: The Bhutan Chapter of Third World Media Network (TWMN) has urged the international rights and media bodies to mount pressure on Druk regime for the early release of Shanti Ram Acharya.

Teju Prakash, the general secretary of TWMN-Bhutan Chapter, in a press statement issued from Australia, said the authority's decision to sentence Acharya for seven years and six months, without any reason was not tolerable for Bhutanese media groups in exile.

"Our deep attention has been drawn towards authority's decision to sentence a journalist for such a long time without any specific reason", reads the statement, adding- "The allegations put upon Acharya were baseless and that they were motivated at bringing the media under government's control."

The release further said TWMN – Bhutan Chapter has taken the authority's initiative as a severe attack on media sector.

TWMN- Bhutan Chapter has further urged the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to opt for urgent measures to press for the early and unconditional release of Acharya.

The statement also questioned on the independency of judiciary system in the country. "How the authority could say that Acharya was given adequate and fear-free time to plea?" added the statement.

TWMN- Bhutan Chapter has further warned the government of Bhutan that their commitment for complete establishment of media freedom would remain firm despite the latter's attempt to weaken it.
Source: Bhutan News Service

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