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Two more former Nepal ministers freed after high court order

[JURIST] Authorities in Nepal Sunday released two powerful former ministers in the royal direct rule cabinet led by King Gyanendra [official profile] following an order from the Nepalese Supreme Court [official website]. The released former ministers were Kamal Thapa and Tanka Dhakal. While passing the order, Justices Sharada Prasad Pandit and Badri Kumar Basnet said the detention of the former ministers was "illegal" and not "based on sufficient evidence".

The new Nepal government had arrested Thapa and Dhakal on May 12, accusing them of conspiring against the popular people's uprising [JURIST news archive] in April this year. They were detained under the Public Security Act. Thapa was home minister during the uprising and ordered the Armed Police Force and the Nepal Police to suppress the uprising. Altogether 21 people were killed and over five thousand people were injured by the police during the 19-day long uprising that forced King Gyanendra to give up executive power [JURIST report]. Three other royal ministers detained in May were released [JURIST report] last week.

Kiran Chapagain is a special correspondent for JURIST writing from Nepal. He is an Assistant Senior Reporter for the Kathmandu Post.

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