On 1 January 2007, about sixty participants in a protest in Nepal organized by the Citizen’s Movement for Peace and Democracy, against the delay in promulgating the interim constitution, were arrested. According to reports, police broke up the protest, using excessive force immediately after the activists had gathered outside the Prime Ministers residence.
Shyam Shrestha, human rights defender and journalist, Mahendra Bista Secretary General of the Federation of Nepalese Journalist’s and Dr. Devendra Raj Pandey, were amongst those arrested. The Federation of Nepalese Journalist’s strongly condemned the arrest of the human rights defenders and journalists, and stated: "The act is against the spirit of people's movement and the people's fundamental right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression."
Later that evening, the protesters were released. This is the first time since the restoration of democracy, of April 2006, that civil society representatives have been arrested. These arrests contravene the commitment to respect human rights as articulated in the peace accords signed by the Government and Maoists, in November 2006.