Chief editor and publisher of Khojtalas weekly and www.khojtalasnews.com (an online news portal) Raju Basnet has been arrested by Metropolitan Police range upon the direction of District Court Kathmandu on September 10th . Journalist Basnet has been arrested for committing crime under Electronic Transaction Act, 2008.
On July 29 Journalist Basnet was detained by security official for publishing news on his portal about NCP leader's collusion with land mafias to sell the 25 ropani lands of Harishaddhi Brick Kiln factory. The leaders and their aides had pressurized the land revenue office for selling the land. This news was initially published on Dristi Weekly and later derived by Khojtalas weekly and online.
Press Council Nepal, the rightful body to regulate the news content had looked after the case and Khojtalas news portal had already submitted the justification relating to the news. But again the police has filed the case under Electronic Transaction Act, 2008 making it a cyber offence and District court has ordered to investigate the case.
Freedom Forum condemns the security personnel step for targeting the same online time and again. FF finds it is suspicious why the issue that had already been resolved by competent body is unnecessarily amplified. FF urges the concerned authority to respect press freedom. Security body's intimidation is intolerable. Thus, FF strongly urges the concerned authority to ensure justice as well as safety to the working journalists.
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