Nepal authorities have detained a Canadian software developer working in the country over a series of tweets deemed to "disturb social harmony", an immigration official said on Tuesday.
Police detained Robert Penner on Monday afternoon at the request of Nepal immigration authorities, who say his tweets contravene the terms of his working visa.
Penner tweets frequently on political issues in Nepal, most recently to condemn the arrest of a Nepali magazine editor who has since been freed on the orders of the Supreme Court.
"Evidence shows that he has been spreading messages that disturb the social harmony, peace and security of the country," said the department\’s information officer Bishwo Prakash Neupane.
"We have the authority to cancel a person\’s visa if they are found indulging in such activities," Neupane told AFP news agency.
Penner\’s lawyer Dipendra Jha said immigration officials were threatening to cancel his visa.
"But there is no concrete evidence he has indeed disturbed peace and harmony. No action has taken place to support that allegation," Jha said.
Penner has been working in Nepal for the technology outsourcing company CloudFactory for about four years.
He has spoken out on a number of controversial issues, including a row over a new constitution that triggered deadly protests.