Police arrested a ward secretary of Kavrepalanchowk district on August 21 for sharing a distorted image of the Prime Minister and the satirical cartoons on Facebook.
Metropolitan Police Crime Division detained Hom Nath Sigdel, 44, a resident of Suryabinayak Municipality-3, Bhaktapur from Babarmahal, Kathmandu. Police accused the employee of ‘sharing distorted image (with PM’s head on monkey’s body) on Facebook arguing could spread false and negative rumour targeting Prime Minister in the society.’
According to the police, he was detained for sharing the distorted image on August 3.
The photo was originally posted on Facebook page named Samer Xetri on August 3 and has been shared more than 2,500 times on Facebook.
The police is learnt to have prepared a case against Sigdel under section 47 of Electronic Transaction Act 2063.
To this, Freedom Forum is of the view that if the police was clear that the photo Sigdel shared on Facebook would harm public moral, the case could be dealt differently as the case of public offense at a time when the country has recently got Civil Code and Criminal Code. The use of Electronic Transaction Act as the cyber crime act is sheer misuse of authority. Similarly, if it was the photo that could be the defamation, the particular person feeling defamed could file the case, rather than the using police.
Therefore, the arrest of the government employee over Facebook post/share has spread fear among every citizen for exercising their rights of freedom of expression on internet.
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