International brief ~ Nepal police kill 3 more as pro-democracy protestors defy curfew

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, at least three protestors were killed in Kathmandu as hundreds violated a day-long curfew in the capital city ordered by the Nepalese government aimed at breaking the continued pro-democracy protests [JURIST news archive] staged against the rule of King Gyanendra [official profile, BBC profile]. The three individuals were pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital and doctors are currently working on nearly fifty other protestors injured when Nepalese police and security forces fired rubber bullets, live ammunition, and tear gas into the crowd. Local human rights agency INSEC [advocacy website] had to take the wounded to the hospital, as the ambulance services have been suspended. Protests continued Thursday, despite Gyanendra's release of two top political prisoners [Times report] Wednesday and security forces have received shoot-on-sight orders [Aljazeera report] in order to enforce the curfew. Nepalese officials have also refused to issue passes to diplomats, UN personnel, and other NGO monitoring teams, a move the UN called a clear violation [UN News report] of the UNHCHR's agreement with the government of Nepal. eKantipur.com has local coverage.

In other international legal news ...

  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile] called Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] a "disgrace" during a question and answer session in the British Parliament on Wednesday. Blair told reporters that while Britain was limited in what effect it could have on the political landscape in Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive], the UK would continue to use all possible diplomatic pressure to force change in the country, but acknowledged that there was a limit to what could be accomplished. Blair also called for an increased effort in the international community, including the UN, to force change in the current status quo. Zimbabwe's Inkundla.net has local coverage.

  • A UN military assessment team that was designed to begin planning for the scheduled take-over of peacekeeping duties in the Darfur region [JURIST news archive] of Sudan was denied entry visas by the Sudanese government [official website] on Wednesday. UN officials called the denial a "bump in the road" and said that contingency planning for the upcoming take-over would continue. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton called the decision a mistake "that undercuts our ability to do contingency planning." JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan [JURIST news archive]. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

  • Kenyan Auditor-General E.N. Mwai has called on the Kenyan government to take legal steps to have nearly 18 contracts [audit report] with companies hired to perform security projects declared null and void. Mwai, who was conducting an investigation into the legitimacy of government contracts with private companies, discovered that seven of the companies contracted with the government were "ghosts" without any real offices or addresses. Mwai also called for the government to compel the heads of the ministries that signed to contracts to reveal all relevant information and warned that legal action for fraud and embezzlement could be taken if complicity were found among government officials. Kenya's East African Standard has local coverage.

 

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