Freedom Forum has been alarmed over the restriction government has posed on people’s free movement around significant places, including Singha Durbar, Maitighar and New Baneshwor.

Lately, the government even placed rope along the footpath around Singh Durbar and New Baneshwor that has badly obstructed people’s movement.

New Baneshwor is the place locating federal parliament building and Singh Durbar the central administrative complex of Nepal.

Some weeks back, the District Administration Office, Kathmandu extended the prohibitory order, that barred people from gathering around New Baneshwor, Singha Durbar, Maitighar Mandal and Baluwatar. Baluwatar has the official residence of Prime Minister and Maitighar Mandal is a s prominent public square used for peaceful protest for long.

Few aware youths have been regularly protesting peacefully- bearing placards and demanding back the public space- at a corner near Maitighar Mandal, a significant public square, which is near the Singha Durbar.

Maitighar Mandal has been used by the public as a strategic public place to show their concern over government actions and exert pressure for correction on policy and action.

The recent rope barrier on footpath in the name of security has further narrowed space for common people in the capital city. The government decision came in the wake of usury victims’ march to the parliament building in New Baneshwor to pile pressure on lawmakers and seek immediate address to their problems.

It is worth noting that the victims of loan-shark and cooperatives from across the country have gathered in the federal capital seeking cooperation from government to resolve the crisis they are facing.

To this, Freedom Forum Executive Chief Taranath Dahal observed, “It is not only a breach of civic space but has direct impact on citizens’ rights to free speech, peaceful assembly and peaceful protest. The government’s action has showed authoritarian mindset, which is harmful to democracy. Citizen’s rights must be respected and ensured, not suppressed.”

Freedom Forum demands government to immediately lift the barriers on public spaces and guarantee citizen rights.

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Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu