A Geneva-based legal rights group says Nepal's crackdown on the media through a government ordinance is illegal and it says the law should be repealed immediately.

The International Commission of Jurists says the ordinance seeks to provide the government a legal cover for its unlawful suppression of freedom of the media.

Under the ordinance, issued in October, Nepal's security forces have raided radio stations, confiscated transmission equipment, imposed restrictions on news broadcasts, and harassed journalists.

Nepal's King Gyanendra assumed total power in February after dismissing the government for failing to quell the almost decade-old Maoist insurgency.

Political parties demanding the restoration of democracy have since isolated the monarch and recently formed a loose alliance with the Maoists.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.