The United Nations' top human rights official is denouncing the imposition of a state of emergency and suspension of civil liberties in Nepal. UN High Commissioner Louise Arbour has sent a letter of protest to King Gyanendra reminding him that Nepal is obliged to safeguard citizens' basic human rights, even under emergency. Her spokesman says she has been alarmed by reports of widespread arbitrary arrests of political and union leaders, and students in the crackdown on February first. During a visit to Nepal just a week before, Ms. Arbour criticized government and rebel forces for violence, brutality and human right abuses. She also had a lengthy meeting with the king and later said that she came away with the feeling that he would act on her concerns.