NHRC concerned about curbs on free speech


The National Human Rights Commission has expressed concern about deteriorating condition of freedom of movement and freedom of expression in the country.

Incidents of preventing Nepali Congress leader Minendra Rijal from attending a programme in Tanahun and attack on Gyanendra Shahi in Chitwan recently have posed threat to citizens’ right to freedom of movement and freedom of expression, the rights body said.

The National Human Rights Commission reminded the government that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights-1948, and the constitution had guaranteed the right to freedom of expression, assemble peaceably, and the right to reside in any parts of the country.

“The NHRC observes that these incidents have violated the fundamental rights of citizens, but the government has yet to express its commitment towards guaranteeing these rights in future,” read a press release issued by the rights body today. The government’s apathy to bring to book the perpetrators of these incidents has raised serious question on its commitment to good governance and human rights in the country.

“Lack of seriousness on part of the government on freedom of movement and freedom of expression is not good for any country. Therefore, the NHRC urges the government to create an environment where citizens can enjoy their right to freedom of peaceful assembly, movement and expression without fear,” the release stated.

The National Human Rights Commission has also called on the government not to ‘hijack the fundamental rights of citizens under any pretexts. “The NHRC requests the government to bear all expenses incurred during for the treatment of Shahi and initiate action against the guilty, by conducting a fair investigation into the incident.