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Human Rights Groups Demand International Intervention in Nepal


The New Delhi-based Asian Center for Human Rights wants the international community to suspend humanitarian aid to Nepal, where King Gyanendra assumed absolute power last month and imposed a state of emergency.

The king said he acted because political deadlock was preventing the government from ending a nine-year bloody communist rebellion.

But in a report prepared for the United Nations, the Asian Center says conditions for the average citizen are worse, not better under the king. And the Maoist rebels are solidifying their control outside the capital.

Suhas Chakma, director at the Center, says the international community must step up pressure on Nepal to improve the human rights situation, and also help the country end the Maoist insurgency.

"We are calling for embargo on humanitarian and economic development aid because the government of Nepal does not have the capacity to deliver this aid because 70 percent of the country is under the Maoists," said Suhas Chakma. "We are also calling for international interventions in respect of involvement for mediation between the Maoists and the government of Nepal."

Britain and India and have suspended military aid to Nepal, and the United States says it will review all its assistance if the king does not restore democracy.

The Asian Center's Mr. Chama says under the King's emergency rule, civil liberties have been wiped out and there is an increase in human rights abuses, including extra-judicial killings.

"The Royal Nepal Army has been given carte blanche [total freedom] to perpetrate all kinds of human rights violations for three reasons: there is complete ban on political activity, second there is complete ban on press freedom, and third there is a ban on monitoring of human-rights violations by restricting or by confining and detaining people in Kathmandu Valley," he said.

In recent years, international human rights groups have accused both the Nepalese authorities and the rebels of widespread human rights violations. Thousands of people have disappeared in the conflict that has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

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