Nepal police arrested journalist Yegge Bahadur Budha from the office of http://www.raptipahichan.com/ (online news portal being operated from Dang) for his critical social media post on May 7. Budha is publisher and editor of the news portal.
While the second round of local level election is approaching, political leaders are busy with their election campaign nationwide. During the campaign, a leader of CPN Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) said that the nation will face a disaster if his daughter is not elected as a mayor. In response to his statement, Budha wrote a post on his social media page. The post read- I will hit Prachanda- who threatened that the nation will fall into disaster- with shoes. Prachanda was scheduled to visit Dang to address his election rally.
An officer at Area Police Office, Dang said that Budha was taken under control for safety reasons and released on May 8 after the election rally ended.
Freedom Forum is concerned over the incident. Being a public figure, political leaders should accept criticism of their citizens. Free speech cannot be restricted. If the speech is against individual image, the aggrieved party can go to court rather than arresting the speech maker and harassing him. Hence, police officers entering the media house and arresting journalist is a severe violation of free expression.
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