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Nepal: New report reveals one 'disappearance' every day in trekkers' favourite destination

‘Nepal: Escalating ‘disappearances’ amid a culture of impunity’, describes a culture of impunity in which security forces regularly obstruct investigations by Nepal’s courts and National Human Rights Commission into 'disappearances'. Amnesty International is now receiving at least one new report of a 'disappearance' every day.

Those 'disappeared' include teachers, farmers, students, business people, journalists, political activists, Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights as the security forces pursue counter-insurgency operations against the 'people’s war' being fought by the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) (Maoist). It is estimated that around one third of those who have 'disappeared' since August 2003 have been released or at least located, but they tend to have been held in incommunicado detention for long periods of time. Many have been ill-treated or tortured in detention.

15-year-old student Manoj Rai was reportedly arrested by police in Kathmandu on 27 September 2003 and allegedly tortured. The police denied making the arrest and all knowledge of Manoj Rai’s whereabouts. In December 2003 the NHRC discovered him in a police station, still being held in unacknowledged detention. Manoj Rai was finally released on 1 January 2004, a day before the date set for a Supreme Court hearing on the case. He was told to report back daily to the police, but went into hiding fearing for his safety.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

'The dramatic escalation in 'disappearances' is not only causing massive suffering to the victims and their families but is also undermining the rule of law as well as the trust of ordinary Nepalis in their security forces and government.'

The report has been sent to Nepal's Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba along with a letter expressing Amnesty International’s concerns.

Since 1998 Amnesty International has received reports of 622 cases of 'disappearance', hundreds of cases of extrajudicial executions, thousands of arbitrary arrests and widespread torture by security forces. The organisation has also received numerous reports of abductions, torture and killings by the Maoists and has frequently called on the Maoist leadership to end these abuses and abide by international humanitarian law.

Amnesty International is calling on the government of Nepal to:

  • Investigate and clarify the fate of the 'disappeared', bring perpetrators to justice and pay compensation to the victims and their families;
  • Ensure that security forces respect the authority of the courts and comply with court orders;
  • Provide Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission with all assistance required to carry out its investigations, including allowing its investigation teams to operate freely and have access to all places of detention.

Kate Allen concluded:

'The unprecedented number of 'disappearances' is one of the most pressing human rights issues facing Nepal. Only by tackling the culture of abuse, ending the impunity of security forces and putting in place comprehensive legal and institutional reforms can the government halt the slide towards a human rights disaster.'

  • ' onclick=';return false;'>Read the report 'Nepal: Escalating 'disappearances' amid a culture of impunity' ...

  • An interview with the wife of one of Nepal’s 'disappeared' people is available online ... /li>

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