Tuesday, December 05, 2006

OHCHR worried about police actions

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) has expressed concern over the violent demonstrations carried out by students in Kathmandu as well as the use of excessive force by police in the name of controlling the demonstrators.

"OHCHR-Nepal is very concerned about violent demonstrations which have taken place these past few days in the Kathmandu Valley, in the context of student protests, and the excessive use of force by police in responding to the violence, as witnessed by its monitoring teams,” a press statement issued today by the OHCHR-Nepal spokesperson Kieran Dwyer said.

The statement further said, "Demonstrators have the right to protest peacefully. In recent days our monitoring teams have witnessed stone-throwing and other forms of violence by demonstrators in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur which have resulted in injuries to police and damage to property. We urge all demonstrators and demonstration leaders to ensure that protests are peaceful and do not turn violent.”

Saying that its monitoring teams have seen excessive use of force by police personnel against the demonstrators, UN rights body also called on police authorities to issue clear directives that police personnel should only use appropriate force.

OHCHR-Nepal monitoring teams have witnessed police beating demonstrators repeatedly over the head with lathis in a similar manner to the excessive use of force our teams witnessed during the April Jana Aandalon, the OHCHR further said.

Dozens of students were injured in police action during demonstrations in the Kathmandu Valley organised to protest the newly enacted Education Bill, which, protesters say, is unfair.

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