Over 40 activists detained in Nepal over protest

Kathmandu: A number of human rights activists were detained on Monday after they held a demonstration in front of the Constituent Assembly to protest the move to grant general amnesty to those involved in serious rights violations during the country's decade-long conflict.

Over 40 right activists were detained after they tried to enter the prohibited zone in the government secretariat, police spokesperson Dhiraj Pratap Singh said.

They were staging a sit-in under the 'Civil Campaign against General Amnesty', a protest they had launched opposing a bill that would enable the government to grant blanket amnesty to those implicated in several cases of rights violation during the armed conflict.

The campaigners had submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Constituent Assembly Chairman Subash Nembang, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala and CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal yesterday.

"We found the government turning a deaf ear to our concern towards the issue, thus, we were compelled to stage a peaceful sit-in protesting the same," Dinesh Tripathi, a lawyer said.

The government cannot initiate the process of pardoning those who were convicted during the conflict for committing serious human rights violations, he added.

The activists also demanded immediate formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to provide transitional justice to the conflict-period victims.