Rallies against Feb. 1 royal coup in Nepal

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Friday, February 11, 2005

NEPAL — Nepalese opposition groups have taken to the streets of capital Kathmandu to protest against King Gyanendra's takeover of the government.

The first major protests started Thursday on the streets of Kathmandu, where protesters unfurled banners and shouted slogans. They were quickly arrested by police, who had caught wind of the plans and mobilized their forces on the streets.

At least ten arrests took place, sources say.

These protests were organized by the Human Rights and Peace Society (HURPES) and were announced earlier this week. The protesters are angry over King Gyanendra's decision to take over the government, censor the media, cut communications, ban dissent, arrest opposition leaders and place military on the streets.

Earlier in the week, Krishna Pahadi, the founder of HURPES, called for the protests.

"We would like to fill the jails of Nepal for the sake of democracy, human rights and the peace," he said.