APFA Bhutan

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Association of Press Freedom Activists (APFA) – Bhutan is an organization in exile established to work for a freedom of press and freedom of speech and expression in Bhutan. It comprises young and dynamic journalists and linguists carrying potentialities to open the floodgates of freedom of speech, expression, press and publicity. APFA -Bhutan is an independent organization.

Bhutan is a member country to the United Nations system since 1971 and is signatory to many of the conventions and declarations it passed. But implementation of international laws is yet to be seen in Bhutan. People are barred from enjoying their birth right as the bona fide citizens of the country. Bhutan agreed on Universal Declaration of Human Rights soon it became the member of the UN. But Article 19 of the declaration is yet to be implemented in the country.

Since democratic values and people's rights cannot be safeguarded in absence of independent media, APFA-Bhutan strives to pave way for institutionalizing a vibrant media working in close co-ordination with the political forces, human rights bodies and social organizations.

Organization's Activities

APFA-Bhutan runs various programs as part of its advocacy campaign for freedom of the press and freedom of speech and expression of the Bhutanese people. apfanews.com is the hourly updated news site run by the organization. The site gives independent and accurate news on Bhutan and Bhutanese refugees.

Similarly, APFA Bhutan publishes a newspaper called The Bhutan Reporter from its office in exile in Kathmandu. The paper is circulated through Nepal, India and Bhutan in hard copy. Readers can also access the paper online in PDF format for free download.

Similarly, the organization also runs a weekly radio program called Saranarthi Sarokar (voices of the refugees) from a FM radio station in Kathmandu. The radio program can be listened live on our site or at nepalfnnetwork.com, the website of the radio station.

In collaboration with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), we have published two reports on status of press freedom in Bhutan in the annual report of the IFJ for South Asia. In 2007, APFA also published a separate booklet on media situation in Bhutan including the historical background of Bhutanese media. This the first instance of any publication concentrated only on media in Bhutan.