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Nepal government releases Maoist rebels jailed under Gyanendra anti-terror laws

[JURIST] As expected [JURIST report], the new government of Nepal [official website; JURIST news archive] dropped terrorism charges against 190 Maoist rebels on Tuesday and freed them from jails in nine cities, a Home Ministry spokesman said. About 160 rebels are still incarcerated but will be released once courts issue individual orders. The communist rebels faced charges such as murder and kidnapping under an anti-terrorism law [JURIST report] instituted by the government of King Gyanendra [official profile; BBC profile], whom the Parliament has stripped of key powers [JURIST report] in recent months.

Since protests forced Gyanendra to reinstate Parliament [JURIST report] in April, the new government and rebel leaders have agreed to a cease-fire as peace talks have resumed. Hundreds of rebels held on less-serious charges have already been freed. AP has more. eKantipur.com has local coverage.

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