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Nepal prisoners demand general amnesty after Maoists freed

[JURIST] Prisoners across Nepal [JURIST news archive] are demanding general amnesty following the release of more than 1,000 Maoist rebels [JURIST report], many of whom had been detained under a royal government anti-terrorism law [JURIST report] effectively scrapped [AP report] last week by the new parliamentary government in a gesture of reconciliation. Although most of the protests have been peaceful, inmates took over Kathmandu's central prison, which houses about a quarter of Nepal's 6,500 convicts. Guards re-entered on Monday after an eight-day standoff. A spokesman for the Nepalese Home Ministry said that the remaining prisoners cannot be released and that no amnesty is planned.

The new Nepalese government, formed after a popular uprising [JURIST news archive] this past spring, has released political prisoners as part of a peace deal with the Maoist rebels [JURIST report]. Last week, the government and the Maoists reached an eight-point agreement [JURIST report; text] whose terms include drafting an interim constitution within 15 days and dissolving parliament. AFP has more.

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