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Police arrest citizen for a critical social media post

The police arrested a local citizen for posting a Facebook status critical to a former minister and former police chief from Banke on December 29. Banke lies in the Lumbini Province of Nepal.

The one Dilli Bahadur Chand from Banke had posted a status about Former Minister Mahesh Basnet and former police chief Sarbendra Khanal's 'alleged involvement in kidnapping a lawmaker' about eight months ago.

After eight months, Chand was arrested and is kept in detention at Cyber Bureau Kathmandu for further investigation.

According to the police source, he was charged under cybercrime.

Freedom Forum condemns the arrest reasoning that it is the latest in the series that Electronic Transaction Act (ETA) has been misused to silence the public voice and criticism. It is a sheer violation of citizen's right to freedom of expression.

If the person had defamed them, they could follow legal recourse by going to court, rather than inciting the police to arrest and torture a common person. FF strongly reminds here that there are separate provisions against defamation and public offense. Freedom of expression can not be suppressed in the name of 'cybercrime'. FF urges the concerned authority to stop further action but release Chand.

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