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FF condemns re-arrest of journalist Hamal

Freedom Forum condemns the re-arrest of journalist and anti-corruption activist Om Hamal from Supreme Court premises on September 3. Journalist Hamal was previously arrested on 23 August from Sisuwa of Kaski district. Journalist Hamal who is the editor of janasanchar.com operated from Pokhara of Kaski was arrested by the security officials for being allegedly associated with Biplab- led Maoist group.

After the arrest of the journo, a writ of Habeas Corpus was filed at Supreme Court of Nepal for his immediate release on which SC had given 3 days ultimatum to the Nepal Police to justify his arrest. On September 3, SC ordered Nepal Police to release the journo from the custody.  However, on the same day, security officials arrested him on the basis of the new arrest warrant. He was re-arrested from the SC premises.

Freedom Forum condemns the security officials' move to re-arrest journalist merely for his political faith. As before, FF believes that no person should be arrested and troubled under this reason.  Re-arresting the journalist who is ordered to be released by the SC itself is disrespect to the court's order and distrust on the judiciary.

For this, Freedom Forum Chief Executive Taranath Dahal observes, "Security Officials are misusing their power to trouble the journalist merely for his political faith. Arresting and re-arresting the same person again and again without taking into account the court's order has become a new trend in Nepal. This is a serious threat for democracy and shows that law enforcing agency is acting against the court. It has ridiculed the FoE and mounted harassment to journalist and his family and  has spread fear among media fraternity."

FF, therefore, demands the immediate release of journalist Hamal. Arresting someone for his/ her political faith is serious blow to the constitutional standard that guarantees freedom of expression and opinion in Nepal.

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