Two 'disappeared' prisoners released at end of AI visit to Nepal

Secretary General Pierre San», who led an Amnesty International

delegation to the country last week to highlight the organisation's growing

concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country, said

he was delighted to hear the authorities had taken swift action to trace

the two men and release them.

Mr San» also expressed hope that the Nepal government would soon

announce the results of investigations into 42 other cases of

'disappearances' which the Amnesty International delegation had brought to

the attention of the government.

Suresh Ale Magar and Pawan Shrestha were seen being taken away in a

police van immediately after they were released from Kathmandu Central Jail

on the orders of the Supreme Court on 23 December 1999. It is understood

that for the large part of their illegal detention they were held at the

Western Region Armed Police Forces Section in Pokhara town, Kaski district.

They were never issued with any detention order or taken to court.

The Western Region Armed Police Forces Section has been among a number

of secret places of detention around the country where people arrested on

suspicion of being members or sympathizers of the Communist Party of Nepal

(Maoist) are held in illegal custody. A number of other people arrested in

Kathmandu in mid-1999 were also reported to be held at this Armed Police

Forces Section in Pokhara while others are reported to be held at the Armed

Police Forces Section situated within the premises of the Maharajgunj

Police Training Centre in Kathmandu.

Amnesty International reiterated its recommendation to bring an

immediate halt to the use of secret places of detention and to punish those

police officers responsible for the 'disappearance' of Suresh Ale Magar and

Pawan Shrestha.

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