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More than 70 gay rights activists rallying for changes to government identification papers for transgender people have been detained by police in Kathmandu, Reuters reported Tuesday.
Nepali men and women are campaigning for citizenship certificates with their gender marked as "third sex" instead of male or female, according to the report.
Sunil Babu Pant (pictured), Nepal's first openly gay politician and the head of the Nepal gay rights group Blue Diamond Society, told a reporter from Reuters he was one of the 70-plus activists being held at a detention center.
"We are running out of patience and are demanding our rights," Pant said. "Without the citizenship papers, the sexual minorities are unable to get a job, enroll in schools or colleges, seek treatment in hospitals and travel. They cannot even inherit parental property."
According to Kathmandu police chief Ramesh Kharel, the activists were detained for "violating the norms" by gathering at a place where demonstrations were not allowed.