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ACHR Press Release
ACHR Index: PR/NEP/01/02/05
1 February 2005

Release Prime Minister Deuba and other political leaders of Nepal

New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) expressed concern at the dismissal of the Sher Bahadur Deuba government and declaration of emergency by King Gyanendra of Nepal today and appealed for the release of all the political leaders including Prime Minister Deuba who are in “protective custody” of the Royal Nepal Army personnel after being put under house arrest.

The Royal Nepal Army personnel have also surrounded the Prime Minister's residence and the homes of other political leaders. Kathmandu has been disconnected from the rest of the world as land and mobile lines have been cut. The Kathmandu airport has also been closed according to unconfirmed reports. With the declaration of emergency, the government has effectively suspended all civil liberties including the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly.

The dismissal of the Sher Bahadur Deuba government reconfirms the fear that has been looming large in Nepal since the inauguration of the Raj Parishad, Royal Council, on 9 December 2004 by King Gyanendra that His Majesty is all set to take over power and become executive King. This is a clear misuse of the Article 127 of the Constitution of Nepal and international community must not any longer make excuses for its refusal to intervene with the King". - stated Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

While the deadline of January 13th for the Maoists to enter into talks and attempts to reach consensus among the political parties to hold elections have failed, it does not justify dismissal of the Sher Bahadur Deuba government. King Gyanendra who ruled through a succession of Prime Ministers had failed on both counts and therefore, had to reinstall Sher Bahadur Deuba.

ACHR appealed to the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation to go ahead with the 13th summit scheduled to be held in Dhaka on 6-7 February 2005, though Article 3 of the SAARC Charter requires that the heads of the governments must be present, and ensure restoration of democracy in Nepal for finding a solution to the Maoists crisis.

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