April 20, 2006

Taking Cues from the LAPD

Posted in Human Rights, South Asia at 10:12 am by greatparanoiac

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"When we go to rallies, we have an agreement not to use stones, and to remain peaceful. Yesterday, some people behind us, pushed us towards police in uniforms, and said, 'Come on, let's throw stones.' I saw their ID cards, so knew that they were [plainclothes] security forces. We would keep telling them no. Some threw stones and tried to incite others to violence. I got hit on the head with a stick and kicked on the side…so many people [were] being beaten by uniformed police. They are trying to hit us deliberately on the head, so we couldn't stand. I was knocked unconscious."  – 28 year-old woman, struck on the head at Chabahil (Kathmandu), April 17 as reported to HRW.

It looks like security forces in Nepal have taken a cue from the LAPD stomping on the head of Rodney King or any other man who has the misfortune of being pulled over and the wrong skin color.

Injured protesters told Human Rights Watch that they believed the police have deliberately targeted protesters' heads. Medical personnel at three hospitals reported more than 60 percent of the injured protesters suffered head injuries, primarily from being walloped with long police batons.   

A doctor at Kathmandu's Teaching Hospital told HRW roughly two-thirds of the 250 protesters treated at the hospital are for head injuries. He said the number of head traumas indicated that security forces did not simply want to disperse the protesters, but "their intention was to kill."

In addition, Democracy Now reported today in Nepal, at least three people were killed and more than 40 injured as police fired into crowds of pro-democracy protesters marching towards Katmandu.  Protestors are still turning out despite the government threatening that anyone caught violating a curfew would be "shot on sight."

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