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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Nepal: UN welcomes release of three detained under public security law

July 10, 2008

UN News Centre
July 8, 2008

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR) in Nepal has welcomed the release of three people who had
been detained under the country's Public Security Act (PSA).

The three people, two of whom are Nepali citizens, were accused of
carrying out "acts that affect security, peace and order by chanting
anti-China slogans in different public places in the capital," in
connection with protests against alleged human rights violations in Tibet.

Last month, High Commissioner Louise Arbour sent a letter to the
South Asian nation's Government in which she expressed her concerns
about the use of the PSA, which was used often by authorities before
April 2006 to arbitrarily arrest and detain protestors.

In a press release issued today, OHCHR voiced its apprehension about
the "breadth of the prevention regime in the PSA and again urges the
Government to either significantly amend the Act or to repeal it."

The Office stressed that preventive detention should only be utilized
"where necessary," and even then only when supplemented by the
appropriate safeguards, such as access to courts.

"It is also vital that the powers under the PSA not be used to
suppress legitimate exercise of freedom of expression and freedom of
assembly or for political reasons."
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