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Youths arrested for protesting against Minister

Nepal Police arrested two youths for pasting pamphlets as a sign of protest in various places of Janakpurdham on March 13. Janakpurdham lies in Madhesh Province of Nepal. 

According to Freedom Forum's representative for Madhesh province, Rajan Singh, Pankaj Jha and Manish Purve were arrested for pasting doctored images of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Deputy Prime Minister Upendra Yadav. Police have arrested them under National Penal Code 2017, Section 118 Prohibition of Indecent Conduct. 

Representative Singh quoted the Police Chief for District Police Office, Dhanusha as saying they will present Jha and Purve at the court tomorrow for extension of date for 10 more days for further investigation. Jha and Purve are in police custody since the day of arrest. 

Meanwhile, police also arrested activists from Maitighar mandala, Kathmandu for protesting on March 15. Activists including members of a political party Bibeksheel Sajha Party were arrested while protesting against the government's decision to declare a public space Mandala as 'prohibited area'. They were, however, released a few hours later. 

Freedom Forum condemns the series of arrests of peaceful protestors. It is a serious violation of civil rights to peaceful protest. In case of Madhesh Province, the youths neither entered prohibited area nor destructed any public property as stated by the law. Thus, it is severe misuse of the law to arrest them and keep in detention. Moreover, Prime Minister and Deputy PM are public position holders to whom citizens have right to criticism. This incident is a severe violation of the constitutional right to peaceful protest, right to free expression, fair trail, criminial justice and natural justice. 

Hence, FF strongly urges the security authority to immediately release them and investigate the case fairly. 


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