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Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - Nepal

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 14 March 2007
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - Nepal, 14 March 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48747ce439.html [accessed 31 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Absence of inquiry into the ill-treatment inflicted to Mr. Naman Kumar Shahi and Mr. Bhupendra Shahi80

As of the end of 2006, no inquiry had been opened on the 2005 attack against Mr. Naman Kumar Shahi, representative of the Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), and Mr. Bhupendra Shahi, editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Gorkhapatra Daily and district president of the Journalists' Forum and of the Human Rights and Peace Society (HURPES). However, the deputy superintendent at the Dailekh police station allegedly presented his apologies to Mr. Naman Kumar Shahi.

On January 2, 2005, Mr. Naman Kumar Shahi and Mr. Bhupendra Shahi were beaten by plain-clothes officers of the Dailekh police station. They had gone to the district of Dailekh to gather information on the murder of Mr. Dil Bahadur Rana, a member of the District Working Committee of the Nepali Congress Party and secretary of the Independent Committee for Displaced Persons in the district, who was killed that same day by Maoists.

Arbitrary arrests, ill-treatment and acts of harassment against several human rights defenders81

Following a curfew and the complete prohibition of protests ordered by the government in Kathmandu and Lalitpur districts on January 17, 2006, the repression of Nepalese civil society has increased. Several protests were violently repressed, and several political leaders, journalists and human rights defenders were arrested.

– On January 25, 2006, Mr. Naman Kumar Shahi was arrested by security forces in plain clothes as he was supervising a protest organised by the Seven Party Alliance (SPA). The police forces also attacked him and dragged him on the ground. He was released later that day.

– On February 19, 2006, Mr. Naman Kumar Shahi was hit once again by a police officer as he was monitoring a protest organised by SPA. Following this incident, the deputy superintendent Prakash Bahadur made an apology on behalf of his subordinate.

– On January 26, 2006, Mr. Nabraj Basnet, a member of the Society Upliftment Centre, an INSEC affiliate, was arrested by members of the security forces in Janakpur as he was monitoring the programme for election nominations. He was detained all day at the police station and released in the evening.

– On January 27, 2006, Mr. Arjun Basnet, INSEC representative in Jhapa district, received a death threat by a stranger who warned him by telephone not to pursue his activities.

– On February 1, 2006, Mr. Charan Prasai, president of the Human Rights Organisation in Nepal (HURON), along with Mr. Bijul Biswokarma, Mr. Mukund Rijal, Mr. Suresh Kumar Bhatta, Mr. Narayan Dutta Kande, Mr. Basu Devkota and Mr. Prakash Bara, other HURON members, was arrested while they were taking part in a meeting on the occasion of the one-year "anniversary" of the royal take-over in Nepal82.

Mr. Bijul Biswokarma, Mr. Mukund Rijal, Mr. Suresh Kumar Bhatta, Mr. Narayan Dutta Kande, Mr. Basu Devkota and Mr. Prakash Bara were all released on February 5, 2006. Mr. Charan Prasai was released a month later.

– On February 2, 2006, Mr. Rupesh Khatiwada, secretary of the Free Students' Union (FSU), was arrested at Tribhuban University by the police, and then taken to the Kirtipur police station in Kathmandu. He was tortured by two police officers that same evening.

On February 5, 2006, Mr. Khatiwada, Mr. Basudev Poudel, Mr. Rajan Khatiwada and Mr. Saroj Kumar Yadav, also student leaders, were placed in provisional detention in the Women Development Training Centre in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur district. Mr. Poudel, Mr. Khatiwada and Mr. Kumar Yadav were also tortured during their arrest.

On February 3 and 4, 2006, the National Human Rights Commission and Mr. Ian Martin, head of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal, visited the four prisoners. They were all released on February 21, 200683.

– On February 13, 2006, soldiers of the Ranadal Gulma garrison violently attacked Mr. Kalli Bahadur Malla, INSEC representative in the Kalikot district, during an identity check in the Manma bazaar. Once he had introduced himself as an INSEC member, the military declared that "all human rights defenders and journalists are Maoists", before hitting him and causing head injuries.

– On April 5, 2006, the police arrested 37 journalists, lawyers and professors who were preparing themselves to join a protest in New Baneshwar (Kathmandu), including Mr. Bishnu Nisthuri, president of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), Mr. Mahendra Bista, general secretary of FNJ, and Mr. Shambhu Thapa, president of the Nepal Bar Association (NBA). They were all released the same evening.

– On April 8, 2006, 24 members of the Civil Movement for Democracy and Peace (CMDP) were arrested in Maharajgunj during a demonstration in support of democracy in Nepal, including: Mr. Daman Nath Dhungana and Mr. Padma Ratna Tuladhar, two observers of the peace negotiations; Mr. Sundar Mani Dixit, director of the Civil Society for Peace and Development; Mr. Kanak Mani Dixit, editor-in-chief of the Nepalese magazine Himal South Asia and director of the Himal Media press group; Mr. Ishwar Koirala; Mr. Charan Prasain; Mr. Kapil Shrestha, a teacher at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu; Mr. Laxman Aryal, a former judge at the Supreme Court; Mr. Mahesh Maskey; Mr. Bidur Wasti; Mr. Bharat Pradhan; Mr. Bhaskar Gautam; Mr. Bimal Aryal, a teacher; Mr. Kedar Sharma, a member of the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ); Mr. Malla K. Sundar, a defender of indigenous rights; Mr. Saroj Dhital, a doctor; Mr. Anubhav Ajit; Mr. Rupak Adhikari; Mr. Arun Sayami, a doctor; Mr. Madhu Ghimire; and, Ms. Shanta Dixit, a journalist.

They were all detained in the barracks of the Armed Police Force (APF) in Duwakot (Bhaktapur), and released on April 25, 2006.

– On April 9, 2006, authorities refused to grant permits to journalists and human rights defenders during the curfew to enable them to attend an INSEC conference. These measures had a great impact on the 2005 release of INSEC's annual report, which has been distributed on the same day since 1992.

– The same day, a protest organised by civilians in front of the District Administration Office of Doti district was repressed by the police armed with truncheons. Many journalists and activists were injured, including the journalists Mr. Tekendra Deuba and Mr. Ran Bahadur Bohara, and the activists Mr. Ramhari Ojha, Mr. Dik Bahadur Mahara, facilitator of the INSEC "Campaign for Peace", and Mr. Shanker Deep Madai. Mr. Madai had to be taken to hospital.

– On April 12, 2006, the security forces arrested Mr. Baburam Giri, secretary general of HURON, Mr. Shriram Bastola, HURON treasurer, and Mr. Kekar Khadka, Mr. Jibnath Ghimire and Mr. Krishna Abiral, heads of programmes for Pro-Public Good Governance, a Nepalese NGO which, among other things, fights against corruption in public institutions and for good management of public affairs. They were arrested in front of the gate to the Padma Kanya campus in Bagbazar. They were gathering information on the situation of people injured during protests calling for a return to democracy.

– On April 13, 2006, the police opened fire on a peaceful assembly organised by the Nepalese Bar Association (NBA), in Babarmahal, thereby injuring the lawyers Tanka Prasad Chaulagain and Ramchandra Singkhada.Mr. Santosh Sigdel, Mr. Sitaram Adhikari, Mr. Nandu Acharya, Mr. Prem Bahadur Khadka, Mr. Shambhu Thapa, Mr. Sher Bahadur KC, vice-president, Mr. Madhav Banskota, secretary general, and Mr. Yuvaraj Sangraula, director of the law faculty of Kathmandu, were also violently assaulted. Messrs. Purna Prasad Dangal, Kamal Bahadur Khatri, Kamal Itani, Nabin Shrestha, Rajendra Neupane, Govinda Khadka and Rabindra Lal Joshi also suffered injuries and had to be taken to hospital. Mr. Bimal Chandra Sharma and Mr. Bidyanath Bhurtel, INSEC members, were also attacked while monitoring the gathering, and Mr. Rajkumar Siwakoti, a member of the Human Rights & Democratic Forum (FOHRID), was arrested and accused of throwing stones at security forces.

– On April 14, 2006, security forces arrested 14 NGO members during a peaceful demonstration organised by the Nepalese civil society in New Baneshwar to protest against human rights violations committed during a general strike organised by SPA, including: Ms. Bhagwati Karki, a member of the Women Self Dependent Centre, Ms. Sharmila Karki, president of Jagaran Nepal, an NGO defending women's rights, Mr. Netra Timsina, president of Forest Action in Nepal, Ms. Shanti Adhikari, general secretary of the Human Rights Alliance, Mr. Bhola Bhattarai, a member of the secretariat of the Federation of Community Forestry Users (FECOFUN), Mr. Rajendra Lamichhane, a member of the FECOFUN permanent committee, Mr. Gajadhar Sunar, secretary general of the Dalit NGO Federation, Mr. Santosh BK, a member of the Dalit Welfare Organisation, Mr. Mitra Lal Basnet, a member of the Women Rehabilitation Centre, and Mr. Rubin Gandharba, a singer and a central figure in the pro-democracy movement.

– On April 15, 2006, dozens of journalists were injured during the violent dispersal of a protest in Gaushala, which had been organised on the initiative of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ). Mr. Damodar Dawadi, Mr. Binod Pahadi, Mr. Mahendra Bista, FNJ secretary general, Mr. Rajendra Aryal, Mr. Harihar Birahi, Mr. Tej Prakash Pundit, Mr. Upendra Kishori Neupane, Mr. Bharat Pokharel, Mr. Krishna Humagain and Mr. Yuvaraj Sharma suffered injuries. Mr. Surya Thapa, editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper Budhabar and a leader of FNJ, Phanindra Dahal, Tikaram Yatri and Dipak Dahal were arrested. They were all released the same day.

– On April 16, 2006, many activists were arrested during a protest organised by the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) in Baneshwar, including Mr. Yograj Limbu, Mr. Rajbhai Jakarmi, Mr. Gyanraj Rai and Mr. Suk Bahadur Tamang. The police also assaulted Mr. Om Gurung, NEFIN secretary general. They were all released at a later date.

Threats against Ms. Nirmala Tiwari84

On February 4, 2006, Ms. Nirmala Tiwari, INSEC representative in Syangja district, received threats from the deputy superintendent following an inquiry by the Human Rights Treaty Monitoring Coordination Committee (HRTMCC), of which INSEC is in charge of the secretariat, into the death of Mr. Pritam Bahadur Gurung. The latter was arrested on January 13, 2006, along with 29 other villagers of Manakamana, Syangja disctrict, by security forces, after gunfire broke out between the security forces and Maoists. Mr. Bahadur Gurung was kept in a very cold bunker overnight. He was released the next day, but died on January 29, 2006 as a result of the bad detention conditions he endured85.

On February 4, 2006, the deputy superintendent stated that human rights activists supported the Maoists and warned Ms. Nirmala Tiwari not to reveal the cause of Mr. Pritam Bahadur Gurung's death.

Extrajudicial execution of Mr. Dayaram Pariyar86

On March 24, 2006, Mr. Dayaram Pariyar, a member of the office of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Janakpur, suffered injuries during gunfire between security forces and Maoists in the district of Dhanusha ( Janakpur). Earlier, a Maoist group had attacked the Mujeliya police office in Dhanusha and executed two police officers. The security forces had then arrived from Janakpur and started to fire indiscriminately when they arrived at Dhanusha, thus injuring Mr. Dayaram Pariyar.

On March 28, 2006, he died of his injuries while in hospital.

His brother and sister lodged a complaint before the Supreme Court on November 13, 2006.

Attack against leaders of GEFONT87

On October 16, 2006, around 90 Maoist unionists attacked leaders of the Independent Transport Workers' Association of Nepal (ITWAN), affiliated to the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT), to stop them from collecting unionist contributions. Mr. Bidur Karki, secretary of the education department of GEFONT and secretary general of the ITWAN central committee, suffered serious injuries. Several other people were abducted or injured, including Mr. Naran Nath Luintel Bagmati, secretary of the Central Union of Painters, Plumbers, Electro and Constructions Workers (CUPPEC), Mr. Balgopal Thapa, secretary of the central committee of the Independent Press Union (IPWUN, a GEFONT affiliate), Ms. Sunita Bidhathoki, a member of the central committee of the Nepal Independent Hotel Workers' Union, and Mr. Gayatri Niroula, Mr. Rameshwar Dhungana, Mr. Khem Dahal and Mr. Govinda Magar, members of the Nepal Education Support Trust (NEST).


[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

80. Idem.

81. See Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC).

82. See Urgent Appeal NPL 001/0206/OBS 012.

83. See OMCT Urgent Appeal NPL 100206.

84. See INSEC.

85. See OMCT Urgent Appeal NPL 080206.

86. See INSEC.

87. See Independent Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), October 19, 2006.

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