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Fact Check: Viral Video Allegedly Showing RSP And RPP Lawmakers Protesting Against The Bill Seeking To Pardon Murderers Is Misleading

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Claim
Lawmakers of Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) staged a protest in the parliament against the bill seeking to provide blanket immunity from prosecution to murderers.
Fact
The viral video shows lawmakers protesting against some amendments to Nepal Acts seeking to include a provision to withdraw sub judice cases against a person affiliated with a political group.

A viral video purportedly showing the lawmakers of Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party staging a protest in the parliament against the attempt to endorse a bill seeking to grant immunity to murderers is going viral on TikTok.

TikTok user @rajeshbist55reshu posted a video showing the federal House of Representatives parliament where the members of parliament are seen walking up from their seats and trying to obstruct the House. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Lawmakers from RSP and RPP have obstructed the parliament in protest against the attempt to endorse the bill seeking to amend the law to grant amnesty to perpetrators of murder.  Where are the CPN-UML, Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre) hiding? Is he a House Speaker or an accomplice of murderer.” The clip is followed by another clip showing Rastriya Prajatantra Party lawmaker Gyanendra Shahi speaking in the parliament. “Politics is not done by slitting the throats of people. It is a heinous crime.” The video shows another footage of the House Speaker speaking about the endorsement of an unspecified bill.

The video posted on July 16 has garnered 23.5k likes, 499 users, 578 people have commented on it until the time of publishing this article. The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker closely watched the video and noticed a logo of Online Tv Nepal on the top right corner. Taking a clue from it, we searched the YouTube channel and found a video, dated 17 July 2023, whose frames from the 2.50-minute timestamp exactly matched the viral video. However, we couldn’t establish what actually happened in the parliament on that day.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t4IOZcD7zM , July 17, 2023

So, we conducted a search on google by using various relevant keywords such as ‘Rastriya Swatantra Party’, ‘controversial bill’ and ‘parliament obstructed’ and found an article, dated 17 July 2023, published on Kathmandu Post online.  On checking the article titled ‘Government bring controversial bill to withdraw cases sub judice in court’, we found that lawmakers from the Rastriya Swatantra Party, Rastriya Prajatantra Party and Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party criticized the bill, which aims to revise 79 different Acts, including the Criminal Procedure Code. The Bill to Amend Some Nepal Acts aims to withdraw cases from all tiers of the court against the political leaders.

Further, we found Nepali article titled ‘When RSP and RPP picketed the parliament rostrum without understanding the process’ published on Setopati online. On reading the article, we found that the news article reports on the entire development in the parliament that day. The article also explains how the lawmakers of Rastriya Swatantra Party and Rastriya Prajatantra Party and the House Speaker got confused and got up from their seats and walked up to picket the parliament platform. Members of Parliament from the Swatantra Party and Rastriya Prajatantra Party were raising objections to the Bill to Amend Some Nepal Acts that allows the government to withdraw sub judice cases against political leaders.

We also found a video of the July 16 protest in the parliament posted on the YouTube channel of Setopati.

Thus, our findings clearly show that the lawmakers of Rastriya Swatantra Party and Rastriya Prajatantra Party staged protest in the parliament against the “provision to withdraw sub judice cases against a person affiliated a political group who have mended their ways.”

Conclusion

No, the viral video doesn’t show lawmakers of Rastriya Swatantra Party and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RSP) staging a protest in the parliament against the bill seeking to provide blanket immunity from prosecution to murderers. The lawmakers are actually protesting against the bill to Amend Some Nepal Acts. It would be misleading to say that the lawmakers are objecting to the bill seeking to provide amnesty to murderers.

Result: Missing Context

Sources
Onlinetv Nepal /YouTube , July 17, 2023
Kathmandu Post, July 17 2023
Setopati.com, July 16 2023


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

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