Freedom of Expression Update
Against the violation of people's right to peaceful gathering and freedom of speech/expression, the Nepali Congress party's election program was obstructed at Phidim, district headquarters of Panchthar, a hilly district in the east of Nepal on October 22, 2013.
Freedom Forum has been concerned over the obstruction created by the poll-opposing Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist. It is obviously the violation of the freedom of speech.
As the November 19 Constituent Assembly election date is drawing closer, many political parties have intensified election publicity and campaigning across the country.
But, poll-opposing party CPN-Maoist have created hurdles in different places thereby preventing leaders and cadres from exercising freedom of expression/speech which is quite undemocratic practice.
Reporter to the Annapurna Post daily from Panchthar, Mr Laxmi Gautam said, "The CPN-Maoist cadres barricaded the local roads to reach the program venue at Lungrupa of the district which finally forced the Nepali Congress party leaders and cadres to postpone the program."
It is also the violation of citizens' right to information.
In a separate incident, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) foiled the election publicity program of a rebel candidate of the same party at Constituency No 10 of Kathmandu district.
A national daily, Annapurna Post dated October 24 writes- Padam Kunwar, rebel candidate to party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal was organizing an election publicity program at Kirtipur Naya Bazaar of Kathmandu (Constituency No. 10) but was forced to stop program due to party pressure.
Freedom Forum condemns both of these incidents which blatantly violate citizen's right to freedom of speech. Therefore, both CPN-Maoist and the UCPN (Maoist) are urged to respect the people's political rights and freedom of speech.
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