Umesh Dube, a prominent investigative journalist who has earned his reputation for writing about corruption and malpractices has been arrested for allegedly "disturbing social peace and harmony" on 29th July, 2020. Bureau Chief of TV Today Television HD (https://bit.ly/3fn57Fm) and reporter at Sagarmatha National Television, Journalist Dube holds many caps on the journalism arena. He was arrested by District Police Office of Parsa district. Parsa lies in province 2.
As per Freedom Forum's representative for Province 2, Rajan Singh, "The dispute stated when the police made an issue warning Dube to not walk on the main road". Singh says, there is no law which prohibits anybody to walk on any road. Dube informed Singh that he was wearing a press jacket and had press card at that time. Later the same day, when Dubey posted a Facebook status saying that police's wrongdoings are not hidden from public's eye, he was arrested late in the evening.
According to DSP Manojit Kunwar, after holding him for two days, his custody is extended for 10 days as a court case against him has just been registered. They have claimed that they possess evidence where Dube has demanded money from people misusing police's name. Bijaya Kuswaha, a local journalist informed FF that the District Police Office, Parsa has the history of fabricating facts with the intention of revenge on those who speaks against the authorities. In the past, several other journalists were called out and were forced to sign papers accepting that they will not write or talk against the authorities. Journalist Dubey frequently published news regarding security officials' involvement on boarder smuggling and corruption.
Journalist Kushwaha Dube's investigative stories were the reason behind such troubles.
The action taken by the police against Dube is one of many examples where journalists are troubled by taking false legal courses in Nepal. Such action in the present has become day to day phenomenon to stop the journalists from involving in investigative reporting on the critical issues of the administration. FF demands immediate release of Dube as 10 days is the maximum amount of detention period given the nature of the case. As he has been investigated since 2 days, unfair extension infact seems like a way of teaching lesson to deter journalists from writing about the police. FF urges police to stop fabricating the facts immediately and respect the notion of free press.
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