International media rights groups have demanded that Nepal's royal government restore press freedom and stop harassing journalists, who are protesting media restrictions.
The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said the arrests of journalists are becoming the standard government response to peaceful demonstrations. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said the Kathmandu government should restore press freedom, not detain journalists.
The call came a day after Nepalese police detained at least 50 journalists as they marched in downtown Kathmandu to demand press freedom. They were released on Tuesday.
Journalists have been staging protest demonstrations since February 1, when King Gyanendra seized absolute power and imposed press restrictions, saying the move is aimed at ending almost a decade-old Maoist insurgency.
The royal government has imposed limits on independent reporting and has banned FM radio news broadcasting.