Freedom Forum condemns the arrest of Alam Khan, a human rights activist and a member of the Federation of Nepali Journalists. He was held for writing on Facebook about the ill administration owing to the death of a person due to Covid-19 on the 20th of May, 2020. He was arrested in Banke, Nepalgunj. Nepalgunj lies in province no. 5.
According to FF's representative of province n. 5 Sudip Gautam, Alam's arrest was done by District Police Office in Nepalgunj. He was kept at the district police office for the whole day before releasing him on the condition that he appears in the police office on a daily basis. On his Facebook status, Alam also wrote that the dead person should be declared a Martyr and be compensated indicating that the mismanagement of administration caused the death.
Upon inquiry, Alam said even though no one had lodged a complaint against him, the police had arrested him.
Since the day of the arrest, Alam has been present at the Police Office on Thursday and has been told to be present every day.
Freedom Forum strongly criticizes the misuse of power by the police who have been troubling the activist who writes and advocates about the mismanagement around the COVID-19 situation. While in fact the authorities should be coordinating and collaborating with the activists inorder to enforce positive changes in the community and utilize their community reach, on the contrary, police have been unnecessarily targeting these activists to silence them. Freedom Forum urges the police headquarter to monitor the misuse of power in the local level and enforce ethical practice within the police offices. FF also urges the police offices to be mindful and respect the Free Speech which every Nepali citizen is constitutionally entitled to.