Thursday, April 20, 2006

No US Support for Democracy in Nepal: We'd Rather Just Start Random Wars Elsewhere

Random so-called pro-democracy wars, that is. The Bushist fascists don't seem to be down with democracy right here in the US of A, now, do they?

SHOOT TO KILL ORDERS IN KATHMANDU: Human Rights Monitors Forbidden to Observe: Bush Dithers/Does Nothing to Support Nepali Democracy

KATHMANDU, 20 April (IRIN) -
At least three protestors were killed and at least 50 injured at the hands of the security forces on Thursday afternoon during demonstrations in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, according to the Himalayan Human Rights (HimRights), a local rights group.

In total, 14 demonstrators have been killed and over 3,500 injured since the nationwide strike and pro-democracy rallies against Nepal's absolute ruler King Gyanendra began 15 days ago, another local rights group, Insec, said.

The protests, led by the seven main opposition parties, have gathered pace since 5 April, with almost 2.5 million Nepalis coming out to demonstrate. . .

To foil the largest rally to date planned in the capital, the royal government imposed an 18-hour curfew. But, defying government orders, nearly 100,000 demonstrators took to the streets with anti-king banners.

Even the United Nations Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OCHCR) in Nepal was denied curfew passes - thus preventing monitors from observing what was happening.

"The authorities told us that we can have limited movement between our residences and office, and insisted that this can only take place under police arrest," said Kieran Dwyer, spokesperson for OCHCR-Nepal, adding that their office was not allowed to deploy its human rights monitors in the capital during the curfew.

So far, only five local human rights activists were able to reach the main demonstration sites in the capital by taking huge risks as none of them were issued with curfew passes.

"The security forces threatened to shoot us if we didn't leave at once," said activist Sukaram Maharjan from HimRights, shocked by the direct threat from a group of armed police.

Meanwhile, no journalists were given curfew passes, but many continued to go out at great personal risk after the authorities were ordered to shoot on sight anyone who defied the government's curfew orders.

As an added consequence of the curfew, even those needing emergency medical assistance were not allowed to leave their homes. "The policeman told me to wait for another day to take my daughter to hospital," said a local resident, whose 7-year-old daughter was seriously ill. Desperate to take his daughter to hospital, he had called the government's emergency line to plead for help, but his call was in vain.

Ah, well. Bush in Washington, Gyandendra in Nepal-- power is all, is it not? Sometimes seven year olds must be sacrificed, must they not? Rummy and Cheney agree, do they not?

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