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NEPAL: Express concern about decaying rule of law framework, prevalent human rights violations, impunity during Nepal visit


Open Letter : In light of your upcoming official visit to Nepal, we would like to draw your attention to several developments which have been of serious concern since your previous visit, in particular such are the attempts by the executive to provide amnesty for human rights violations which occurred during the conflict, further damaging the ability of rule of law institutions to provide redress to the victims. Criminal justice institutions have also proven impotent in curbing the trend of persisting human rights violations such as torture, and to protect the defenders fighting for the defence of human rights from threats and attacks. Read More...

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Save Justice for Maina Sunuwar

Maina Sunuwar was only 15 years old when on 17 February 2004 she was taken from her home by members of the Nepal Army. They took her to a nearby army camp used to train soldiers prior to going on UN Peace keeping missions. There soldiers repeatedly pushed her head under water and administered electric shocks to her wet hands and feet. After one and a half hours of this torture she was handcuffed, blind folded and left to die. When Maina's mother, Devi, initially went to search for her daughter, the army denied any involvement. Undeterred, Devi continued to campaign for truth and justice. Under sustained pressure, the army conducted an internal inquiry, resulting in a court martial decision in September 2005. However, it only found those responsible guilty of minor offences and sentenced them to six months imprisonment. Having spent time confined to army barracks they were set free. Pressure on the police resulted in Maina's body being located at the army camp and exhumed in March 2007. Yet despite the weight of evidence and wide public outcry those suspected of killing Maina have not been arrested and tried in a civilian court. Maina's murder and Devi's campaign for truth and justice is one of hundreds of other cases that have not been investigated, and those responsible punished. Not only does this increase the emotional pain they suffer but it undermines Nepal's justice system allowing those who committed horrendous crimes to walk free.

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