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Nepal government promises release of imprisoned Maoist rebels

[JURIST] The new government of Nepal [JURIST news archive] has ordered the release of anyone arrested or detained under an anti-terrorism law [JURIST report] implemented by King Gyanendra [official profile; BBC profile], according to Nepal's Information Minister Dilendra Badu on Monday. Krishna Mahara, a rebel spokesman, said that the administration has promised to release the last 350 insurgents still imprisoned following a weekend meeting between Home Minister Krishna Sitaula, leader of the opposition Nepali Congress [party website], and communist rebel leader Prachanda [Wikipedia profile].

Mahara said that the decision has allowed peace talks between the government and rebel leaders to move forward again after stalling for a period of time due to the hundreds of communist rebels still in prison for alleged acts of murder, kidnapping and crimes against the state. On Sunday, the Nepalese Parliament voted to remove King Gyanendra's power to veto [JURIST report] laws passed by the legislature in the government's latest attempt to strip Gyanendra of his wide-ranging powers [JURIST report]. AP has more. eKantipur.com has local coverage.

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