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Nepal rights activists to lead first public protest against king's takeover

[JURIST] In the wake of last week's government takeover [JURIST report] by Nepalese King Gyanendra [BBC profile] and his subsequent controversial decrees, including a ban [BBC report] on "directly or indirectly" criticizing security forces and a statement that the government can seize private property and monitor all forms of electronic communication, Nepali human rights activists have announced that they will hold a public protest in the capital Thursday. Krishna Pahadi [Front Line profile], founder of the Human Rights and Peace Society [advocacy website], said "We would like to fill the jails of Nepal for the sake of democracy, human rights and the peace." Last Tuesday Gyanendra fired an interim government led by former Prime Minister SherBahadur Deuba [BBC report] for failing to conduct parliamentary elections or control the country's Maoist insurgency, which has been trying to overthrow the country's constitutional monarchy since 1996 in a fight that has cost over 10,000 lives. King Gyanendra's takeover has included imposing house arrest on rights workers, journalists and political leaders, largely shutting down communications between Nepal and the outside world, and deploying troops in the streets of the capital. His actions have been heavily criticized by foreign rights groups and political leaders. AP has more.For background on the crisis, see the BBC FAQ.

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