The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) strongly objects to the lack of medical care given to Dr. C.K. Raut in custody. Dr. C. K. Raut was arrested by police on 7 October 2018 along with his four-year-old daughter from the premises of the District Court in Rautahat, while appearing in court in the case of sedition.
Dr. Raut has been harassed repeatedly by arbitrary arrests, illegal detention, torture, unnecessary harassments and false charges. His recent arrest is yet another instance of the same. Dr. Raut has now been arrested more than 18 times, and has spent several months in illegal detention and prison, although he has been declared innocent by the Special Court and the Supreme Court on the previous five charges of treason and sedition for his advocacy.
Dr. Raut’s arrest on October 7 and sending him to Gaur Prison are nothing but an infringement of citizen rights entitled to all by the constitution and laws of Nepal, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ICCPR and ICESCR. The rights to free speech, and to free and peaceful assembly are fundamental to the democratic values of a modern and civilized society. The Government of Nepal violated and breached all boundaries of civilized conduct by continually arresting Dr. Raut and disrupting his peaceful activities.
The government even denied to have a dialogue with him through its high level political dialogue committee, while the committee had discussions with other armed groups inside the country. The Government of Nepal is abusing state power through its arbitrary arrests, illegal detention, torture, and unnecessary harassment of Dr. Raut for the same issues and subject matter already settled by a competent court. This is greatly unjust.
Due to the government’s continued oppression and detention, the lives of his wife, and his three young children, with no other guardian or support, are also in jeopardy. Currently, Dr. Raut himself is suffering from multiple renal calculi in both kidneys. Doctors have prescribed medical treatment that may require one or two weeks of hospitalization at a hospital with an appropriate treatment facility. Tragically, the government had been denying him this urgent treatment.
After many efforts, Dr. Raut was transferred from Gaur Jail to Bhadra Jail, Kathmandu on 2 January 2019 for his medical care. Authorities at Bhadra Jail however, began further unnecessary harassment, in violation of the United Nations (1990) Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners, instead of facilitating his immediate medical care. Furthermore, he has been kept with convicted prisoners in an overcrowded cell, where his health is worsening due to a lack of proper sleep. His fundamental rights have been violated, and his life is in danger.
The AHRC condemns this gross violation of basic human rights by a government authority. The government of Nepal and its agencies must stop its undemocratic and unconstitutional acts. The government must provide immediate medical care and treatment that Dr. Raut needs. He must be released and the government must facilitate a discussion with him and his team.