AIUSAI took a glance at the AI website today and learned that the director of AI-Nepal, Rameshwar Nepal was arrested. He was part of a group of activists that were getting ready for a vigil on Tibet. I’ve been part of AI for almost a decade and have never heard of any section director getting arrested. Meanwhile, Tibetan protests carry on in China. There was also a brief incident at the Olympic torch lighting ceremony in Greece when a protester from Reporters Without Borders waving a black flag ran up behind Liu Qi, head of the Beijing Olympic organizing committee as Liu was giving a speech.

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Update: Below is copied from AI-Nepal’s website.

Human Rights Defenders Arrested while trying to stage a peaceful demonstration

Human Rights Defenders including officials of Amnesty International (AI) Nepal got arrested ahead of staging a peaceful vigil on 24 March in Kathmandu. The arrest has violated the rights including freedom of assembly peacefully guaranteed by the Constitution of Nepal as well as several other laws.

AI Nepal had planned a peaceful demonstration on 24 March at Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu to call an end of current human rights crisis in Tibet. Human rights defenders including those invited and arrived to attend the demonstration were arrested before they started their planned program. Former Member of National Human Rights Commission Sushil Pyakurel, Former Chairperson of AI Nepal Charan Prasai, General Secretary Chandra Adhikari, National Executive Committee Members Keshab Sigdel and Deepar Rajbhandari, Director Rameshwar Nepal, Human Rights Defenders Govinda Bandi, Shobhakar Budhathoki and Deependra Jha, Convener of AI Nepal Group 80 Surya Bahadur Adhikari, Staff Members of AI Nepal Pralhad Basnet and Jannath Acharya were arrested before the program started and were taken to Singha Durbar police station. All the 12 named above and 5 Tibetan demonstrators arrested later from the same place were release later on the same day. The move by the District Administration to prevent a peaceful demonstration from taking place is against Article 12 of the Constitution of Nepal. There are also no legal grounds to pre-ban demonstrations.

It was reported that about one hundred fifty Tibetans were arrested. The event was monitored by the National Human Rights Commission and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Richard Bennet, the Chief of the OHCHR Nepal visited Singha Durbar police station and met the human rights defenders detained there.

Amnesty International reiterated its call for the Chinese government to allow an independent UN investigation into the events in Tibet which prompted demonstrations in Nepal. It also called on the Chinese government to address the underlying grievances of the Tibetan people and long-term policies that have generated such resentment.

Amnesty International is seriously concern over the arrest which has violets the right to assembly and freedom of expression.

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