Sample Human Right Reports

Asian Human Rights Commission, support@ahrchk.net

ABSTRACT

Human right violations in Nepal are staggering. International community must take actions.

FULL TEXT

NEPAL: Immediate intervention needed to save human lives in Nepal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 1, 2005

AS-09-2005

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

Immediate intervention needed to save human lives in Nepal

The situation in Katmandu and the rest of Nepal at the moment since the formal dismissal of the government on February 1, 2005, by King Gyanendra and his takeover through the declaration of a state of emergency and the use of the military should be a matter of extreme concern for the international community, particularly the dangers that members of the former government and other democratic parties, all organisations and societies and human rights defenders face requires immediate intervention from all members of the international community. The United Nations should immediately intervene with the king to prevent any use of violence, extrajudicial killings, illegal detention and arrest and torture. It is also the duty of all governments to intervene similarly in order to ensure the safety and security of all individuals in the country.

At the moment, all telephone lines to Katmandu have been cut. By this move, harm could be done to many people before the world will know anything about them. As a preliminary protection measure, it is essential to get the king to restore communication within the country and outside of it so that basic security and the well-being of the population can be guaranteed.

Without a doubt, what has taken place is a coup and a bid to take absolute power by the king, power which was lost in 1990 when the royalty gave in to popular demands for democracy through a constitution which guaranteed an elected Parliament and some additional limited democratic reforms. Since the first dismissal of the government two years ago, there has been a crisis of legitimacy in the government. Last June the dismissed prime minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba, was reappointed to guarantee some form of legitimacy, a decision that was made through international pressure. Now this government has been dismissed, and the army has surrounded the prime minister’s house, all political leaders have been placed under house arrest and the military has taken control of the capital’s streets. The ensuing situation could be extremely grave for the protection of Nepal’s citizens. If no serious intervention is made at this stage by the United Nations, the powerful countries in the West and India and China to stop the escalation of violence, a bloodbath could easily take place while the movement of the people and news is restricted.

In a report issued on January 18 entitled “The Mathematics of Barbarity and Zero Rule of Law in Nepal,” the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) drew the attention of the world to the extremely bleak situation in Nepal, particularly pointing to large-scale disappearances, extrajudicial killings and torture in which innocent people have become targets and victims. On the same day, Amnesty International (AI) also issued a report pointing to the extremely dangerous situation in Nepal. With the present coup, the situation will escalate, and the extent of violence to be expected is high.

The United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNCHR), Louise Arbour, who was in Nepal last week and was able to observe the situation for herself, should take the initiative to call an international human rights alert in order to save lives in Nepal. In particular, she should take the initiative to provide security for all human rights defenders who, despite the extremely dark situation in recent years, have been working to defend the rights of the people. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Ruud Lubbers, should also take the initiative to use his office in order to save lives in the country.

Source: http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2005statements/255/


About AHRC The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984
Posted on 2005-02-01
Back to [AHRC Statements 2005]

http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2006/1478/


GENERAL APPEAL (Nepal): Immediate intervention required in Nepal’s deepening political, security and human rights crisis

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal General

24 January 2006


UG-002-2006: NEPAL: Immediate intervention required in Nepal’s deepening political, security and human rights crisis
NEPAL: Democracy; Freedom of assembly; Freedom of speech; Free and fair elections; Arbitrary arrest and detention; Torture; Rule of Law


Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to voice our grave concern for the allegations of human rights violations in relation to the repression of demonstrations in Nepal’s deepening political, security and human rights crisis.
On 19 January 2006, the AHRC issued a statement (AS-008-2006: NEPAL: Human Rights defenders targeted – over a hundred persons arrested in a serious escalation of repression in Nepal) detailing the arrest of over 100 political leaders and human rights activists earlier that day. The statement also reported that the homes of a number of prominent human rights defenders were said to have been visited by the security forces and that the country’s land lines and mobile phones had been cut off in a reminder of the methods used during the disastrous royal take-over nearly one year ago.

The crack-down was launched the day before large-scale demonstrations were to be held, on January 20, to protest against the illegitimate government’s attempt to dupe the international community into thinking that Nepal is taking a democratic course through fraudulent municipal elections, set for 8 February 2006. The authorities in Nepal continue to repress the country’s people and violate the gamut of human rights under the false pretext of security issues. There have been several opportunities to improve security, engage with the Maoist insurgents and move towards peace, notably during the recent Maoist cease-fire, that have been spurned by the King and his acolytes. There has not been a single action of note that gives credence to the possibility that the King and his government are in any way interested in resolving the conflict, improving security and protecting the people of Nepal. To use security as a pretext for measures that can only reduce the security of the people of Nepal is as flagrant and cynical as it is criminally dangerous.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal has denounced the government’s actions and stated that the alleged suspicion of Maoist infiltration in the planned demonstrations, called by the alliance of seven political parties, to denounce the King’s arranged municipal elections cannot justify the harsh measures being used to clamp down on democratic protests.
The targeting of human rights defenders, the AHRC noted, was a particularly worrying development. The AHRC stated that is was gravely concerned that detainees would be subjected to torture or forced disappearance, as these are systematic practices in Nepal.

On January 20, the day of the proposed demonstrations, the AHRC again issued a statement (AS-009-2006: NEPAL: The imposition of a day-time curfew and further arrests in the deepening crisis in Nepal) concerning the events of that day and the deteriorating human rights situation in Nepal. The statement provided information concerning the capital and various regions in Nepal, on a day of further repression of legitimate political protests in the country.

In Kathmandu, it was reported that a curfew was imposed from 8am and was scheduled to last until 6pm. Given that the security forces were given the authority to shoot to kill persons during the curfew hours and owing to the continuing disruption of mobile phone services, the planned large-scale pro-democracy rallies were too dangerous to hold in Kathmandu. Reports indicated that the Nepal Sadbhawana party organised the small rally in Sundhara before the curfew in the morning. As a result, at least two dozen demonstrators were arrested.

More than two dozen students were arrested and around six of them were injured in the process in Surkhet. The security forces reportedly entered the premises of Surkhet Education Campus at 7.30am and arrested the students. During the arrest, security forces charged the students using Latthi’s (sticks). There were also several clashes between students and security personnel in front of the Birendra Multiple College of Surkhet and some seven students were arrested from there. The arrested students were detained in the District Police Office in Birendranagar. After the clashes, a large number of army personnel mobilised in the Bazaar Area.

In Nepalgunj no persons were arrested despite a peaceful demonstration having taken place, in which some 500 people participated.

Reports indicated that between 14,000 and 15,000 peaceful demonstrators marched in Birtamod, Jhapa and assembled in one place. No one was arrested and speeches were conducted in a peaceful way.

In the Western region, the AHRC received reports that there were clashes between the police and demonstrators in several places including Nawalparasi, Sangja, Chitwan and Palpa. In Butwal a motorcycle rally was attended by around a dozen persons, who were arrested.

In an updated statement issued by the AHRC on January 22 (AS-010-2006: NEPAL: over 200 persons arrested, including allegations of beatings and arbitrary detention orders, in the continuing crisis in the country) it was revealed that over 200 persons were arrested after thousands took to the streets on January 21. Following the disruption of the large-scale demonstrations that had been planned by the seven-party political opposition alliance for January 20, thousands of protestors reportedly took to the streets of Kathmandu on January 21. The demonstrations on that day were held in the New Road and Basantapur areas in central Kathmandu, in defiance of the anti-constitutional, total ban on peaceful demonstrations that the government had launched earlier in the week.

The police reportedly intervened to break up the demonstration in the afternoon in Basantapur, as thousands of persons converged on the venue for the gathering. Dozens of demonstrators were injured along with some policemen in the clash that ensued. Dozens of leaders and activists, thought to number over 200, were reportedly arrested. A list of the names of those detained is attached (list – please see end of statement). We are unclear as to who amongst this list may have already been released, but we are aware that many still remain in detention. The police charged the demonstrators using batons and fired tear-gas shells to disperse the crowd in the New Road and Basantapur areas. The Armed Police Force and the Royal Nepalese Army were also deployed.

AHRC is gravely concerned for the personal integrity of all persons being detained. It considers these detentions illegal, coming as they do as the result of an illegal ban on demonstrations. AHRC is particularly concerned for those persons who were injured during the crackdown on the demonstrations and subsequent arrests. Initial reports indicate that the conditions in which the demonstrators are being detained are for the most part acceptable, although there are reports of inhuman conditions of detention in No. 2 Police Batallion in Maharajgunj, where detainees are being kept in a silo with a corrugated iron roof and only receiving rice infected with fungus to eat and dirty water to drink. Access to detainees by their families, lawyers, human rights monitors and doctors remain a concern, although it is alleged that some visits have already been possible. However, a number of human rights organisations have also been blocked from visiting the detainees.

A further concern is that a number of persons arrested on previous days have been issued with preventive detention orders under the Public Security Act (PSA). These detention orders cannot be seen as preventive, but rather as punitive actions. Furthermore, the allegations upon which these detentions are based are reportedly ill founded.

The AHRC remains concerned by the deepening crisis in Nepal and the desperate measures, such as the curfew and ban of demonstrations, being used by the authorities in order to scupper the democratic movement in the country. Of particular concern are the targeting of human rights defenders, along with political leaders and journalists, and the arbitrary use of preventive detention orders.
The AHRC once again reiterates its call for the King to immediately release all persons arrested and detained for “infringements” of the disproportionate curfew and anti-constitutional ban on demonstrations, for these draconian measures to be repealed, and for the demonstrations not only to be allowed to proceed unhindered but for their demands to be heeded, enabling a truly democratic process to take place in Nepal.

In line with our concerns, we ask that you too write to the relevant authorities both inside and outside of Nepal seeking their intervention in this very serious matter. Without pressure on those authorities to bring about change in Nepalese society, the country will only continue to plunge further into crisis.

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission


Sample letter:

Dear _____________,

NEPAL: Immediate intervention required in Nepal’s deepening political, security and human rights crisis

I am deeply distrurbed to hear about the recent allegations of human rights violations in relation to the repression of demonstrations in Nepal’s deepening political, security and human rights crisis.
According to the information I have received, following the disruption of the large-scale demonstrations that had been planned by the seven-party political opposition alliance for January 20, thousands of protestors reportedly took to the streets of Kathmandu on January 21. The demonstrations were held in the New Road and Basantapur areas in central Kathmandu, in defiance of the anti-constitutional, total ban on peaceful demonstrations that the government had launched earlier in the week.

The police reportedly intervened to break up the demonstration in the afternoon in Basantapur, as thousands of persons converged on the venue for the gathering. Dozens of demonstrators were injured along with some policemen in the clash that ensued. Dozens of leaders and activists, thought to number over 200, were reportedly arrested. The police charged the demonstrators using batons and fired tear-gas shells to disperse the crowd in the New Road and Basantapur areas. The Armed Police Force and the Royal Nepalese Army were also deployed.
I am gravely concerned for the personal integrity of all persons being detained. I consider these detentions illegal, coming as they do as the result of an illegal ban on demonstrations. I am particularly concerned for those persons who were injured during the crackdown on the demonstrations and subsequent arrests. Initial reports indicate that the conditions in which the demonstrators are being detained are for the most part acceptable, although there are reports of inhuman conditions of detention in No. 2 Police Batallion in Maharajgunj, where detainees are being kept in a silo with a corrugated iron roof and only receiving rice infected with fungus to eat and dirty water to drink. Access to detainees by their families, lawyers, human rights monitors and doctors remain a concern, although it is alleged that some visits have already been possible. However, a number of human rights organisations have also been blocked from visiting the detainees.

A further concern is that a number of persons arrested on previous days have been issued with preventive detention orders under the Public Security Act (PSA). These detention orders cannot be seen as preventive, but rather as punitive actions. Furthermore, the allegations upon which these detentions are based are reportedly ill founded.

I am most concerned by the deepening crisis in Nepal and the desperate measures, such as the curfew and ban of demonstrations, being used by the authorities in order to scupper the democratic movement in the country. Of particular concern are the targeting of human rights defenders, along with political leaders and journalists, and the arbitrary use of preventive detention orders.

I therefore call for the King to immediately release all persons arrested and detained over their alleged involvement in the demonstrations. Future demonstrations must be allowed to proceed unhindered and the demands of the demonstrators heeded. The current draconian measures being taken in Nepal must be abolished. Only once these and other measures are taken to reinstate and ensure the rights of all people in the country, will a truly democratic process take place in Nepal.

I look forward to your intervention in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

—————————

PLEASE SEND A LETTER TO:

1. His Majesty King Gyanendra

Narayanhity Royal Palace

Durbar Marg

Kathmandu

NEPAL

Tel: 977 14 413577/227577

Fax: 977 14 227395/ 411955

2. Colonel Pankaj Karki

Officer of Royal Nepal Army Human Rights Cell

Human Rights Cell

Singha Durbar

Kathmandu

NEPAL

Telefax: + 977 14 245 020/226 292

3. Laxmi Bahadur Nirala

Attorney General

Office of the Attorney General

Ramshahpath, Kathmandu

NEPAL

Tel: +977 14 262548 (direct line)/262394 (through Personal Assistant)

Fax: +977 14 262582

Email: fpattorney@most.gov.np

4. Mr. Nain Bahadur Khatri

Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission

Pulchowck, Lalitpur

NEPAL

Tel: +977 1 5 547 974 or 525 659 or 547 975

Fax: +9771 5 547 973

Email: nhrc@ntc.net.np

5. Mr. Ian Martin

Chief of Mission

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights- Nepal Office

UN House, Pulchowk

Kathmandu

NEPAL

Tel: (977) 1 5524 366 or 5523 200

Fax: (977) 1 5523 991 or 5523 986

Email: hrinfounit@undp.org

6. Prof. Manfred Nowak

Special Rapporteur on the question of torture

Attn: Mr. Safir Syed

OHCHR-UNOG

1211 Geneva 10

SWITZERLAND

Tel: +41 22 917 9230

Fax: +41 22 917 9016 (general)

E-mail: ssyed@ohchr.org

7. Ms Leila Zerrougui

Chairperson

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

c/o Miguel de la Lama

OHCHR-UNOG

1211 Geneva 10

SWITZERLAND

Fax: +41 22 917 9006 (ATTENTION: Working Group on Arbitrary Detention)

Email: mdelalama@ohchr.org

8. Ms. Hina Jilani

Special Representative of the Secretary General for human rights defenders

Att: Ben Majekodunmi

Room 1-040, c/o OHCHR-UNOG

1211 Geneva 10

SWITZERLAND

Tel: +41 22 917 93 88

Fax: +41 22 917 9006

E-mail: bmajekodunmi@ohchr.orgail: sechome@wb.gov.in

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission

Posted on 2006-01-24

Back to [2006 Urgent Appeals]

http://nepal.ahrchk.net/news/mainfile.php/rhrc/91/

[HRW statement] Nepal: Government Forces, Maoist Rebels Target Civilians – Both Sides in Civil War should Allow Access by Human Rights Monitors 2004-10-07

In Nepal’s escalating civil war, civilians in contested areas are executed, abducted and tortured both by government forces and Maoist rebels, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Military aid providers and donor countries must insist that both sides end attacks on civilians, conclude a human rights accord allowing independent monitoring, and cooperate with the work of the National Human Rights Commission.

The 102-page report, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Civilians Struggle to Survive in Nepal�s Civil War,” details how civilians in contested areas are often faced with untenable choices. Refusal to provide shelter to the rebels puts villagers at risk from Maoists who are ruthless in their punishments, while providing such support leaves them vulnerable to reprisal attacks from state security forces.

“Neither the government nor the Maoists appear particularly concerned with the protection of civilians while they fight this dirty war,” said Brad Adams, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division. “If they want to have any legitimacy in Nepal or with the international community, they need to end attacks on civilians.”

Human Rights Watch documented many cases of extrajudicial executions by each side. For example, near the village of Bhandariya, witnesses saw the Maoists take away four men. Shortly thereafter, they heard the sound of bullet fire coming from the fields outside the village. They formed a search group and found the bodies. All four had been shot, and their legs and arms had been broken. In another case, several eyewitnesses saw two men being pursued by the Army in Belbhar, Bardiya district. An eyewitness saw the two men emerge from the field, with their arms up, saying “We are not Maoists, please help us. We surrender.” The witness watched as the soldiers, who had the suspects outnumbered and surrounded, shot the two surrendering men dead at close range.

The government’s tacit policy to “break the backbone” of the rebellion has led to many extrajudicial killings and “disappearances” by its forces. According to the United Nations, Nepal now has the unfortunate distinction of being among the world’s prime locations for forced disappearances. Most of those who “disappear” are never heard from again. The Maoists rarely commit enforced disappearances; instead they usually declare their abductees to be “class enemies,” and then execute them in the name of their “People’s War.”

Both the government and the Maoists engage in regular intimidation and extortion. The Maoists infamously impose a ‘tax’ on local villagers and travelers, while the government attempts to isolate the Maoists by trying to cut off their access to food and shelter in villages. Many soldiers use the license granted by their superiors in the army and police to engage in extortion and blackmail. Visiting hapless families, they often demand money to ensure the safe release of their relatives from custody. The Maoists use children as messengers, cooks, and porters to gather intelligence on troop movements in violation of international law restrictions on the use of children during armed conflict.

“Rampant abuses have created a climate of intense fear in Nepal’s villages,” said Adams. “Because of Nepal’s geography and poverty, Nepalis under attack or threat usually have nowhere to turn to for protection or redress. Unfortunately, the international community is not playing the constructive and proactive role it should to address these problems.”

The report shows how civil society has been marginalized by the conflict. Government officials have characterized human rights workers, lawyers, journalists and even the independent National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) as closet sympathizers of the Maoists simply because they document government abuses. The Maoists have threatened and killed local activists who oppose or just fail to support them.

While both the Nepali government and the Maoists have made repeated commitments to protect human rights, in practice both have ignored those commitments in their zeal to defeat their enemy, Human Rights Watch said. The government has rejected virtually all allegations of abuse by its forces. The Maoists have responded to allegations of abuse by maligning their victims, claiming that those killed had acted against the liberation of the people or served as informers undermining the Maoists’ march toward creating a communist society.

Both sides have agreed in principle to the idea of concluding a Human Rights Accord, which would allow independent and impartial human rights monitors, including the National Human Rights Commission, to freely conduct investigations in areas under their control. However, the agreement still remains unsigned. The Human Rights Accord would be a key confidence-building measure to overcome the mutual mistrust and recriminations on both sides.

“The Human Rights Accord would create ways to ensure that both sides meet their obligations to protect human rights,” said Adams. “The international community should make rights protection its highest priority in Nepal. Donors should show strong support for the National Human Rights Commission and ensure that it is fully funded.”

India, the United States, Britain and other countries that provide military assistance and training to government forces should increase and improve the human rights training they offer and to monitor the end use of all lethal aid. (No country provides arms to the Maoists.) Human Rights Watch cited the notorious massacre in Doramba in August 2003, in which government forces arrested and summarily executed two civilians and 17 Maoists. In the face of well-documented investigations, the army has engaged in a consistent pattern of denial and obstruction.

“Instead of making excuses for Nepali troops by claiming that they are still on a “learning curve,” it is time for the Nepali government to take responsibility for its forces in the field,” said Adams. “Countries that support Nepal’s armed forces need to pressure the government to credibly investigate massacres like Doramba and punish those found responsible.”

More than 10,000 Nepalis have died since civil war began in 1996. Most victims have been civilians from the country’s most vulnerable communities: the rural poor, Dalits (also known as “Untouchables”) and indigenous communities. From an isolated rebellion in remote mountainous districts of western Nepal, the Maoist insurgency has spread throughout the country, even reaching the capital Kathmandu, where the threat of Maoist attacks alone has in recent weeks brought the city to a standstill.

Link:http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/10/07/nepal9452.htm

Date: 2004-10-07
Posted on 2004-10-07

Source: Asian Human Rights Commission – 2005-2006

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