Nepal arrests Briton over alleged anti-charter protest

Activists clash with riot police as they attempt to breach a restricted zone during an anti-government protest rally in Kathmandu, Nepal, on May 16, 2016.
Activists clash with riot police as they attempt to breach a restricted zone during an anti-government protest rally in Kathmandu, Nepal, on May 16, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

KATHMANDU (AFP) - Nepal arrested a British tourist for allegedly joining a protest on Monday (May 16) against the country's new constitution, the police said, days after a Canadian's visa was revoked over his political tweets.

Hundreds of demonstrators representing ethnic minorities have been protesting in Kathmandu since Sunday, calling for changes to the Himalayan nation's divisive new charter which they say leaves them politically marginalised.

"We have arrested a British man for taking part in today's anti-government protest," Prazit KC of the city police told AFP.

 

The officer said the 45-year-old was seen at the protest sporting a bandana inscribed with an anti-government slogan.

"He will be handed over to officials from his embassy and the immigration department will review his case tomorrow," he said.

Earlier this month, Canadian software developer Robert Penner was ordered to leave Nepal over tweets deemed to "incite conflict".

The immigration department said Mr Penner had violated the terms of his visa by commenting on the country's "internal matters" and gave him two days to leave the country.

Mr Penner, now back in Canada, has appealed the government's decision and the Supreme Court is scheduled to hold a hearing on the matter next week.

The Constitution, the first drawn up by elected representatives, was meant to cement peace and bolster Nepal's transformation to a democratic republic after decades of political instability and a 10-year Maoist insurgency which ended in 2006.

But several rounds of talks between the government and the protesting parties have failed to secure agreement, while more than 50 people died in previous clashes between police and demonstrators.