Photo Credit: Republica Online
Freedom Forum condemns the incident where Rudra Prasad Ghimire, a civilian, is kept in detention at District Police Office for waving a black flag and reciting patriotic slogans in protest against Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli at a program on April 20 in Butwal. Butwal lies in province 5.
FF's representative for Province 5, Sudeep Gautam reported that the case has been registered in Chief District Office under the charge of offensive behavior. Later, the CDO office has extended ten days time period for further investigation on the case.
Representative Gautam further informed that even Ghimire's family members have not been allowed to meet him.
On Ghimire's arrest, FF Executive Chief Taranath Dahal says, "Citizens have right to peaceful protest using the black flag with slogans against a public figure in public space or in front of the public figure's office. It is also the creative way to show dissatisfaction towards the public figure in democracy.''
"Waving the black flag in protest must not be considered as a crime, which is against the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by Nepal's constitution", he stressed.
According to Police Superintendent Dil Bahadur Malla, "While protesting against PM Oli, Ghimire showed offensive behavior. Following that, we were forced to detain him for further investigation.'
FF is concerned over the incident which breaches Freedom of Expression guaranteed by the constitution of Nepal. The incident is an evidence of government's intolerance towards public fair criticism.
Hence, FF urges the concerned authority to investigate the issue seriously and further recommends the government authority to respect, protect and ensure civil rights guaranteed in the constitution.
Rudra Prasad Ghimire is released on 30th April after the writ appeal for extraordinary Juristiction was filled at Supreme Court of Nepal. He was detained by the security officials for 10 days at Butwal District. The Supreme Court interpreted that his detention was illegal and was against the fundamental notion of Freedom of Expression.
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