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Nepal - Demonstrationer FOR demokrati og IMOD kongen!
NEPAL: Democracy demonstrations continue
IRINnews.org, 12. september 2005
Demonstrationerne for demokrati og imod kongens suspendering af en lang række demokratiske rettigheder fortsætter i Kathmandu. Demonstrationerne har nu stået på i over en uge, og mere end 1.000 personer er arresteret. Men stadig flere slutter op i denne folkelige manifestation af, at nepaleserne ønsker reelle handlinger bag løfterne om demokrati, fred og udvikling.
The capital’s main streets have been closed most afternoons in recent weeks as protestors throng key centres like New Road, Putali Sadak, Baneswor, Pulchok.
On Friday, nearly 150 protestors were arrested during a peaceful demonstration led by the Citizens’ Movement for Peace and Democracy (CMPD) – an alliance of civic and human rights groups.
The total number of arrests during the street protests has topped 900 in the last six days, according to the Collective Campaign for Peace (COCAP), a network of peace and human rights organisations. Most have since been released, according to the group.
The demonstrations started one day after the Maoists - who have been waging a nine-year armed rebellion against the king - announced a unilateral ceasefire on 3 September. “The protests will continue until the king gives up his power. There is no other way,” said Bamdeb Gautam, head of the communist Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) party. “We will also have peace talks with the Maoists and mobilise more people to fight for democratic rule.”
Some of the protests have turned violent with the police firing tear gas in order to disperse the crowds. Security forces said they had no option but to use gas in response to bricks and stones thrown at them by demonstrators.
A group of Nepal’s top doctors say the government has been using banned chemical substances against the protestors. Many bystanders, including women and children, have become victims of the gas, often fired indiscriminately in the vague direction of the protesters.
“The immediate impact of tear gas is well known, but constant exposure results in complications like chest pain, cancer and loss in reproductive capability,” said a statement signed by the doctors.
A large number of people, including many police, suffering from severe headaches and sore eyes were seen lining up at Bir hospital, one of the largest and oldest in the capital following Friday’s disturbances. Many journalists covering the demonstration have also complained of severe health problems following exposure to tear gas.
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