Freedom Forum has expressed alarm over two statements issued by the Home Ministry, asking the public not to speak on issues of public concern.
This statement was originally published on freedomforum.org.np on 6 September 2021.
Freedom Forum is alarmed over the two press statements issued by the Nepal government on 18 August and 20 August, asking the public not to speak on issues of public concern.
An excerpt from the statements states: “The Home Ministry has serious concern over the ongoing protests and demonstrations which has disturbed the implementation of development projects in (the) nation and the relationship with neighboring countries.”
The statement further warned that the ministry is closely observing and analyzing such activities and will take strict action against the demonstrators as per existing rules.
“Nepal’s constitution guarantees citizens’ freedom of speech. But, merely for expressing views and making peaceful protest of any in/activity of the government, the issuance of a warning statement blatantly violates freedom of speech. Similarly, it is against citizens’ right to peaceful protest. In a democratic state, the government cannot suppress citizens’ rights, but it must show the capacity to tolerate healthy criticism,” FF’s Executive Chief Taranath Dahal observed.