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Nepal government condemned for mass arrest

By Super

Kathmandu, Apr 7: The European Union and Japan have condemned the Royal government for mass arrest of political leaders and professionals during a peaceful demonstration and general strikes called by the seven parties alliance to restore democracy in the Himalayan nation.

The EU Heads of Mission in Kathmandu condemned the ban on peaceful protests and the consequent arrest of many democratic party leaders, professionals and members of civil society organisations.

''These actions go against the freedom of assembly and freedom of expression stipulated in international conventions to which Nepal is a signatory,'' said the statement issued by the Embassy of Finland, on behalf of the EU.

''The EU Heads of Mission believe that the government's actions further aggravate the atmosphere of confrontation in the country and are not conducive to constructive national dialogue for peace'' it said.

The government of Japan expressed regret over the arrest of political parties and civil society activists, and demanded restoration of freedoms guaranteed by the constitution.

''Japan also strongly urged that freedom guaranteed by the constitution be restored promptly,'' said the statement issued by the press secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

''As these measures by the government of Nepal suppress the free political expression of people, Japan requests that no more arrests be made and those arrested be released as promptly as possible,'' the statement added.

Japan also reiterated its call to political parties and the government to build mutual confidence and resume dialogue for restoration of peace and stability in the country.

The government is under international pressure as the United Nations, the US and India have also condemned the crackdown on the peaceful protest of the political parties.

More than 400 party leaders, activists and professionals were arrested from peaceful demonstrations yesterday on the first day of the four day general strike called by the seven political parties for the restoration of democracy in Nepal.

The parties have intensified the movement in the recent days since the king grabbed power last year.

Darshan Lal Yadav, a party activist of the CPN,UML, who was beaten by the security forces died, in hospital in Saptari district.

Meanwhile, general strikes have crippled the life in almost all the cities and towns of the country.


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