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Arbitrary banner removal meddles with freedom of expression and association

Freedom Forum is alarmed by an incident occurred at Bibeksheel Nepali Sajha Party office in Bakhundole, Lalitpur, on 11 May (Friday) where a police team arbitrarily removed a banner reading "Welcome Mr Modi but we have not forgotten the blockade".

A team led by a Deputy Superintendant of Police (DSP) reached the party office and took away the banner.

Later on Saturday, the party organized a protest programme against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was on a two-day state visit to Nepal on May 11-12. The banner was a reference to the blockade enforced by the Modi-led Indian government following the promulgation of the constitution in Nepal in 2015. The blockade that began on 23 September 2015 had led to the economic and humanitarian crisis which had severely affected Nepal and its economy.

Supporters of the party staged the demonstration in front of the party office at Bakhundole in the Capital and set aloft balloons with the same slogan.

The incident occurred when the party expressed reservation on the two day Nepal visit program of Indian Prime Minister. The party apparently wanted to highlight the blockade condemning the then action of the Indian government, shared the release issued by Bibeksheel Sajha Party.

Freedom Forum condemns the Nepal Police act of removing the banner since every citizen has the constitutional right to freely express his/her opinion and ideas. Putting up banner is political and legal rights of the citizens hence security officers should not meddle with freedom of expression and association rights guaranteed by the constitution of Nepal.

Freedom Forum

Thapathali, Kathmandu

Post-Box No: 24292

Phone No. 4102030, 4102022

Website: www.nepalpressfreedom.org; www.freedomforum.org.np

Email: monitoring@freedomforum.org.npinfo@freedomforum.org.np