Nepal’s ban of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been embarrassingly short-lived. The government has been forced to step back as country’s Supreme Court issues an interim order pausing the block.
Justice Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada told the government that it runs the risk of violating Article 17 of Nepal’s constitution, which concerns freedom of expression. According to The Himalayan, evidence that ban is just and reasonable must be presented.
The original ban was enacted on April 11 due to concerns about aggression and addiction. Nepal’s Metropolitan Crime Division pushed the ban through court in a day, citing consultations with psychiatrists.
ISP and mobile operators were told to block traffic to and from PUBG servers, with police willing to arrest players who did not comply.
However, the Nepalese government hasn’t provided the Supreme Court with a sufficient argument. Such a case could require direct evidence that the fears of addiction and aggression are warranted.
The court’s pushback was reportedly a response to a writ petition filed by several advocates. They argued that blocking a popular internet-based form of entertainment was clearly related to freedom of expression.