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Nepal
04.03.16
Urgent Interventions

Arbitrary arrest of twelve human rights defenders and victims as they were peacefully demonstrating

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NPL 001 / 0316 / OBS 022

Arbitrary arrests / Release /

Obstacles to freedom of assembly

Nepal

March 4, 2016

The Observatory for theProtection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for HumanRights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Nepal.

Brief description of the situation:

TheObservatory has been informed by Advocacy Forum - Nepal of the arbitrary arrest by the police of agroup of twelve human rights defenders and victims of human rights violationsas they were peacefully demonstrating to demand justice for the victims ofNepal’s armed conflict.


According tothe information received, on February 19, 2016, at around 8:40 am, Messrs. Janak Bahadur Raut, Chairpersonof the Conflict Victims Society forJustice, Ram Bhandari, Secretary General of the Conflict Victims Common Platform, Bikash Basnet, Program Coordinator at Advocacy Forum-Nepal, Surya Bahadur Adhikari, Chairpersonof Amnesty International Nepal,Ashok Shrestha Joshi and Bikram Dhukuchu, twomembers of Amnesty International Nepal,Charan Prasai, a human rights activist, Rasna Dhakal and Kanak Mani Dixit, two journalists and human rights activists, and Mahamuni Ishwor Acharya, Bikram Chaudhary and Ms. Sabitri Shrestha, victimsof Nepal’s armed conflict, were all arrested by the police in Tundikhel,Ratna Park, Kathmandu, where several Government representatives (includingPrime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli and President Bidhya Devi Bhandari),were expected to observe Democracy Day. At the time of their arrest, the demonstratorswere peacefully sitting on the roadside with a banner which read “Give Justiceto Ganga Maya[1], Implement Supreme Court'sOrder, Give Justice to Conflict Victims”.

Thegroup was then taken to the Metropolitan Police Circle (MPC) in Anamagar,Singhadurbar, where the police documented the personal details of the demonstrators.The demonstrators were never provided a reason for their arrest, and they werereleased without charges after four hours in detention.

The Observatory strongly condemns thearbitrary arrest of the twelve above-mentioned demonstrators, which appears aimedat sanctioning them for exercising their right to freedom of expression andfreedom of assembly.

Actions requested:

The Observatory urges the authorities of Nepal to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical andpsychological integrity of all human rightsdefenders in Nepal;

ii. Put an end to all acts harassment, including at thejudicial level, against all human rights defenders in Nepal;

iii. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the UNDeclaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of theUnited Nations on December 9, 1998, especially:

- Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually andin association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection andrealisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national andinternational levels”;

- Article 5, which underscores the right of every individual to form,join, and participate in non-governmental organizations; and

- Article 12.2, which provides that the State shall “take all necessarymeasures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone,individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats,retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any otherarbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of his or herrights”;

iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights andfundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standardsand international instruments ratified by Nepal.

Addresses:

· Mr. Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, PrimeMinister, Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers of Nepal, SinghDurbar, Kathmandu, P.O. Box: 23312, Nepal. Fax: +977 1 4211086, Email: info@opmcm.gov.np

· Mr. Shakti Bahadur Basnet, HomeMinister of Nepal, Ministry of Home Affairs, Singh Durbar,Kathmandu, Nepal, Fax: +977 1 421-1257, 421-1286, Email: gunaso@moha.gov.np

· Mr. Anupraj Sharma, Chairperson,National Human Rights Commission Pulchowk, Lalitpur, Nepal, Fax: +977 1 5547973, E-mail: complaints@nhrcnepal.org;nhrc@nhrcnepal.org

· Mr.Hari Krishna Karki, Office of Attorney General Ramshah Path, Kathmandu,Nepal. Fax: +977 1 4262582 / 4218051 Email: info@attorneygeneral.gov.np

· Mr. Upendra Kant Aryal, InspectorGeneral of Police, Police Head Quarters, Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal, Fax:+977 1 4415593, Email: phqigs@nepalpolice.gov.np

· H.E. Mr.Deepak Dhital, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UnitedNations in Geneva, 81 rue de la Servette, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 733 27 22, E-mail: mission.nepal@bluewin.ch

· H.E. Mr. Ram Mani Pokharel,Ambassador of Nepal in Brussels, Avenue Brugmann210, 1050 Brussels, Tel: +32 2 346 26 58 / 02346 26 58, Fax: +32 2 344 13 61,E-mail: embn@skynet.be

Pleasealso write to diplomatic representations of Nepal in your respective countries.

[1] Ms. Ganga Maya Adhikari’s health has beencritical since she started a hunger strike with her late husband, Mr. NandaPrasad Adhikari, seeking justice for their son, Krishna Prasad Adhikari, whowas allegedly killed by rebel Maoist cadres in 2004.

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