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Nepal Releases Communist Leader, Arrests 50 Journalists

Riot police detain a journalist, center, during a demonstration in Katmandu
Nepalese authorities have released the country's communist party leader and two other detainees after four months in jail.

Party officials say Ishwor Pokhrel was freed Wednesday following a Supreme Court order. He was arrested shortly after King Gyanendra's assumption of absolute power on February 1.

The authorities also released the general secretary of a pro-democracy youth party known as Nepal Tarun Dal, and its treasurer.

However, earlier Wednesday, police detained some 50 journalists who gathered in downtown Kathmandu to protest press restrictions and demand that the royal government allow FM radio stations to broadcast news.

The trouble began when the journalists tried to break through a line of police who were blocking them from leaving an exhibition center to move on to restricted areas around the palace.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.