Rights group warns of new Nepal crackdowns

[JURIST] The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) [advocacy website] warned Monday of the possibility for new political crackdowns by the royalist government of Nepal [JURIST news archive] against critics of King Gyanendra [BBC profile]. The ICJ, issuing a statement [text] at the end of a four-day visit to Nepal for talks with government officials and civil society groups, expressed "deep concern that human rights violations will escalate if the political turmoil in the country increases." King Gyanendra seized power [JURIST report] in February, dismissing the government, jailing politicians and suspending civil liberties, saying he had to act to crush the anti-monarchy Maoist insurgency. The ICJ said journalists, lawyers, political parties and human rights activists have continued to defy government restrictions on their activities. Last month, Nepal announced a timetable for democratic elections [JURIST report] amid continuing pro-democracy protests [JURIST report] Reuters has more.

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