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Nepal comedian Pranesh Gautam released from jail after 9 days on district court’s orders

Nepalese stand-up comedian Pranesh Gautam who was arrested on June 7th for posting a negative review video of the movie Bir Bikram 2 on his YouTube channel, meme NEPAL, was released on June 16th (yesterday) by the Kathmandu District Court, reported The Kathmandu Post. Gautam had appeared before the district court on June 14th. The 24-year-old comedian was arrested after an FIR was filed against him by the movie’s director Milan Chams who allegedly accused the YouTuber of defamation, libel, expressing sexist and racial remarks through social media while reviewing the movie. The director also accused Gautam of cyber crime. Following this, several people including YouTubers social media users, stand-up comedians and rights activists spoke against his arrest. The protestors came together in Kathmandu's Maitighar Mandala on June 12th and expressed their disappointment over lack of freedom of expression in the country. What happened with Gautam? Gautam was taken into custody under the Electronic Transaction Act and was put behind the bars for almost nine days. While speaking to media, Chams had said that he wanted to teach online platforms like meme NEPAL, a lesson. Later, he had also said that his intentions has been partially fulfilled. This move was however criticised by other YouTubers and creators saying that it marks a threat towards the freedom of expression. The protesters walked with their mouths taped and carried placards and demanded the release of the YouTuber. According to the report, the members of meme NEPAL and other comedians also attempted to…

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