05/03/2016 00:39 EDT | Updated 05/03/2017 01:12 EDT

Authorities in Nepal arrested Canadian man over 'provocative' tweets

KATHMANDU, Nepal — A Canadian man has been arrested in Nepal for his alleged provocative posts on Twitter against social harmony.

The Kathmandu Post online edition reported Monday that a team of Nepal police arrested Robert Penner in the southern district of Lalitpur on the request of Immigration Department.

Lalitpur district police chief Pitambar Adhikari said Penner was arrested after complaints were filed that he posted tweets that would incite social discord.

However, Penner tweeted after his arrest that he has "repeatedly asked Nepal police" to explain the charges against him, but they won't say. He also tweeted that Nepal Immigration said they planned to hold him overnight. 

According to his Twitter profile, Penner works as a scientist at Cloud Factory, a technology company with an office in Lalitpur.

An official at the Department of Immigration said Penner had a valid work visa and has been living and working in Nepal for the past couple of years.

Penner has been prolific online, often weighing in on political controversies. After Nepal passed a new Constitution last year, he questioned a citizenship provision that was seen as discriminatory against women.

In November, he responded to critics of a Human Rights Watch report about violations in southern Nepal. More recently, he criticized the detention of Kanak Mani Dixit, a journalist who was arrested last month.


The Canadian Press