Nepal government returns equipment from private radio station

The government has returned equipment seized from a private radio station that it accused of defying an official ban on newscasts, the station said Wednesday. The independent Kantipur radio station, which belongs to the country's largest private media group, said the government has returned the studio and broadcast equipment seized in an Oct. 21 police raid.

The station challenged the government action at court. Broadcast of news over private radio stations was banned by royal decree in the aftermath of King Gyanendra's seizing of absolute power on Feb. 1. The Supreme Court, however, reversed the ban last month, allowing the stations to resume newscasts. Many other restrictions on free speech remain.

Criticism of the royal government and security forces is not allowed, nor is independent reporting on the country's communist insurgency. Dozens of reporters have been arrested this year, and three are believed to still be behind bars, reports the AP. I.L.

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