This statement was originally published on freedomforum.org.np on 14 June 2021.
Freedom Forum welcomes the Patan High Court decision to acquit comedian Pranesh Gautam who was charged under the Electronic Transaction Act over a film review in 2019.
The High Court upheld the Kathmandu District Court decision that the film review made by the comedian does not constitute an act of character assassination.
In 2019, Freedom Forum condemned the arrest of the artist Gautam. Film Director Milan Chams (of the film Bir Bikram-2) had complained to the police initially, arguing that the film review made in a satirical way by Gautam ‘assassinated’ the character of the filmmakers and artists.
Although the case was decided by the Kathmandu District Court in favour of Gautam, it was later appealed at the Patan High Court.
Following the complaint by Chams, the police had detained Gautam for eight days in 2019.
FF Executive Chief Taranath Dahal observed, “The High Court decision in favour of the comedian Gautam has respected well citizens’ right to freedom of expression. Also, it clearly shows that the Electronic Transaction Act is the most misused law to silence people in Nepal. The progressive decision of the Court sets a precedent so that anyone exercising freedom of expression online/offline would not be victimized in the future.”
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Source: MEDIA FEED