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UN rights experts condemn use of excessive, deadly force against Nepal protesters

[JURIST] A group of UN human rights experts on Thursday voiced grave concern [statement] "at the escalating wave of violence surrounding the pro-democracy demonstrations throughout Nepal in recent days," noting in particular several incidents where Nepalese police have fired on protesters [JURIST report] during ongoing demonstrations against the rule of King Gyanendra [official profile; BBC profile]. The experts, including the special rapporteurs on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and torture, said:

We call upon the Government to exercise restraint in policing demonstrations and to guarantee fundamental human rights for all, including the right to life, to physical and psychological integrity, to not be arbitrarily deprived of one's liberty, and to freedom of opinion, expression, association, and assembly.
Pro-democracy protesters [JURIST news archive] are calling for Gyanendra to step down immediately.

The UN communique strongly condemned the "disproportionate and excessive use of force," including the "indiscriminate firing of rubber bullets - even on occasion live ammunition - into crowds, by members of the security forces against protestors and innocent bystanders." BBC News has more. The UN News Centre has additional coverage.

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