By APFA Bhutan
The Royal government of Bhutan has banned viewing a website this month without furnishing any reason. The government ordered the recently formed Bhutan Information, Communication and Media Authority (BICMA) to block viewing bhutantimes.com inside Bhutan. According to the orders given by the government, the only and government owned ISP Druknet blocked viewing the site within the country. According to the officials of the BICMA, they blocked the site as per the orders.The site had been popular for forum discussion where people can register and express their opinion on important national issues. The site did not have its own news contents rather self updated news on Bhutan, militancy in north-east India through google news feed.This is the second site that Bhutan government blocked. Earlier, bhutannews.com was also blocked. Both these sites cannot be viewed in Bhutan at present. Forum discussions in recent months were observed to be critical of the minister Sangey Nidup, who is maternal uncle of the present Crown King. Association of Press Freedom Activists (APFA) Bhutan expresses serious concern towards the seditious intention of the government to restrict the people from expressing their opinion. We urge the government to withdraw its decision to block the site and respect the right to expression of the Bhutanese people. APFA stands always in favor of the bhutantimes.com and asked the press freedom fighters to extend solidarity to Bhutantimes.com to continue its service to the people of Bhutan.
Association of Press Freedom Activists (APFA) Bhutan is an independent and apolitical association fighting for press freedom and freedom of speech and expression in Bhutan. It was established in 2004. The young journalists associated with us publish a monthly newspaper named The Bhutan Reporter.