portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article coverage global

human & civil rights | media criticism | resistance & tactics

The UN aknowledges current human rights abuses in Nepal

A continuing uopdate on the loss of rights & power in Nepal. Dissapearances, mass arrests, and military manned news offices in Kathmandu have been spinning the world press in their favor. But neighboring countries have a different story altogether.
The King's ongoing attack against civil liberties of the people of Nepal goes on unabated since Tuesday.

Journalists are being arrested for writing news articles. And members of media activists are being arrested in a large dragnet operations to stop all dissent in Nepal. While seemingly there is support in Nepal for the King, please note photographs by the AP press on Thursday of a small pro monarchy rally, there are far more soldiers on the streets of the capital than those showing support of the monarchy. As fear mounts so does the confusion of a populace losing dignity and human rights.

At this link you can peruse photographs collected by Yahoo.

Among the scant information coming out of Nepal several things are clear. The King is unfairly and unjustifiably detaining people. Tara Nath Dahal, the president of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, was picked up yesterday after a day on the run, his offence apparently printing a blank editorial page in the weekly newspaper that he edits. The group's general secretary, Bishnu Nisthuri, was detained on Friday according to the India Times, nepals closest news source.

Disappearances are also taking place. The Times of India has confirmed 6 disappearances to date. The six political leaders, human rights activists and social activists missing are: Narhari Acharya of Nepali Congress, Kundan Kafle, a student leader affiliated to the Nepali Congress, Pradeep Nepal and Roop Narayan Shrestha of the Communist Party of Nepal- United Marxist Leninist, Khagendra Sangraula, a social activist, and Kishor Singh Rathor, a student leader of the Nepali Congress Democratic.

This is among the many reported missing as well. Keith Bloomfield, the British ambassador, believes that Nepal has breached its commitments under the Vienna Convention in severing the domestic telephone links of foreign missions, including the British embassy.

The King delivered his version of the news to Pokhara region by bringing armed soldiers to shut down the media. He told them that only Kathmandu can report the news in Nepal.
All FM radio stations outside Kathmandu, too, have been shut down.

Army personnel have also taken charge of both Nepal Telecom and UTL, the two companies that provide telecommunication services.

In Kathmandu, all the media offices are under Army control.

He also released report that those convicted of his charges against them under his new government will lose all property to him.

The King swore in a new government on Thursday.

It is apparent that a great violence could be occurring outside of Kathmandu. It is also apparent that if people demand UN intervention this could be prevented as Nepal is historically a peaceable land.
The UN has commented on the situation. Taken from Reuters, here is an excerpt of the article:
GENEVA, Feb 4 (Reuters) - The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced on Friday widespread arrests of political leaders and trade unionists in Nepal, and called for an end to their "arbitrary detention".
"It is our understanding that these people are being held in arbitrary and often acknowledged detention without access to legal counsel, families or international representatives," Louise Arbour said.
"The High Commissioner considers it her duty to recall that these actions constitute serious human rights violations. Such arrests should be brought to an immediate end," she said in a letter to Nepal's King Gyanendra, excerpts of which were released in Geneva.

However, commenting on this situation is not enough, saying later that we wished we had known is not enough, and sighing to wring ones hands against failing to be a voice for the voiceless is not enough.

Hopefully you will contact the UN and demand intervention between the King and the Maoists. Hopefully power will be restored to the people, literally and figuratively.

add a comment on this article