Security forces violently disperse protests as unrest continues in Nepal – UN monitors

22 April 2006

As demonstrations continued in Nepal today, security forces in several locations violently dispersed protestors, according to United Nations officials who visited the injured and criticized the excessive use of force in the troubled kingdom.

As demonstrations continued in Nepal today, security forces in several locations violently dispersed protestors, according to United Nations officials who visited the injured and criticized the excessive use of force in the troubled kingdom.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had five monitoring teams moving throughout the Kathmandu area, where thousands – and perhaps tens of thousands – of people turned out to express discontent with an address made by the King on Friday evening. A wide cross-section of Nepalese society was represented in the marches that continued to build even as a hailstorm swept across the troubled capital city.

OHCHR-Nepal officials said in at least four places, demonstrations were violently dispersed by the security forces using teargas, lath (long stick) charges on demonstrators, and the shooting of rubber bullets.

OHCHR-Nepal also had a team visiting hospitals following up on serious injuries from the use of force by security forces in previous days. OHCHR-Nepal teams witnessed injuries to demonstrators, including head injuries from either laths or rubber bullets.

In one clinic visited by OHCHR-Nepal team, a doctor advised that he had treated 43 demonstrators, including five with injuries from rubber bullets. Once again, head injuries were an unacceptable consequence of the excessive use of force by security forces, UN officials said.

Visiting demonstrators injured by security forces in Kalanki on Thursday – when at least three people were killed – an OHCHR-Nepal team saw three others who were critically injured.

 

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