NEPAL: over 200 persons arrested, including allegations of beatings and arbitrary detention orders, in the continuing crisis in the country

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received further allegations of human rights violations in relation to the repression of demonstrations in Nepal’s deepening political, security and human rights crisis.

Following the disruption of the large-scale demonstrations that had been planned by the seven-party political opposition alliance for Friday 20, 2006 – to protest against the upcoming municipal elections scheduled for February 8, 2006 – thousands of protestors reportedly took to the streets of Kathmandu on Saturday January 21, 2006. A day-long curfew in Kathmandu, along with the security forces’ licence to shoot to kill demonstrators, had not permitted these legitimate demonstrations to be held on Friday. The demonstrations on Saturday were held in the New Road and Basantapur areas in central Kathmandu, in defiance of the anti-constitutional, total ban on peaceful demonstrations that the government had launched earlier in the week.

The police reportedly intervened to break up the demonstration in the afternoon in Basantapur, as thousands of persons converged on the venue for the gathering. Dozens of demonstrators were injured along with some policemen in the clash that ensued. Dozens of leaders and activists, thought to number over 200, have reportedly been arrested. A list of the names of the identified detainees can be found attached. The police charged the demonstrators using batons and fired tear-gas shells to  disperse the crowd in the New Road and Basantapur areas. The Armed Police Force and the Royal Nepalese Army were also deployed.

Human rights observer Bijay Kumar Son was reportedly kicked while trying to observe the demonstration. Human rights activists Bimal Raj Giri and Sabin Nepal were also reportedly beaten with batons by the police. Journalists attempting to collect information and monitor the demonstration were also reportedly manhandled by security personnel. Human rights observers and journalists protested against this treatment.

AHRC is gravely concerned for the personal integrity of all persons being detained. It considers these detentions illegal, coming as they do as the result of an illegal ban on demonstrations. AHRC is particularly concerned for those persons who were injured during the crackdown on the demonstrations and subsequent arrests. Initial reports indicate that the conditions in which the demonstrators are being detained are for the most part acceptable, although there are reports of inhuman conditions of detention in No. 2 Police Batallion in Maharajgunj, where detainees are being kept in a silo with a corrugated iron roof and only receiving rice infected with fungus to eat and dirty water to drink. Access to detainees by their families, lawyers, human rights monitors and doctors remain a concern, although it is alleged that some visits have already been possible. However, a number of human rights organisations have also been blocked from visiting the detainees.

A further concern is that a number of persons arrested on previous days have been issued with preventive detention orders under the Public Security Act (PSA). These detention orders cannot be seen as preventive, but rather as punitive actions. Furthermore, the allegations upon which these detentions are based are reportedly ill founded.

There have been reports of a bomb attack in Biratnagar Sub-Municipality House, Biratnagar on Saturday, thought to have been launched by the Maoist insurgents, although details remain unclear.

There was also a small demonstration at 8 am on the morning of Sunday January 22, which resulted in several political leaders and cadres being arrested. The names of those identified arrestees from this demonstration can also be found in the attached list.

The AHRC remains concerned by the deepening crisis in Nepal and the desperate measures, such as the curfew and ban of demonstrations, being used by the authorities in order to scupper the democratic movement in the country. Of particular concern are the targeting of human rights defenders, along with political leaders and journalists, and the arbitrary use of preventive detention orders.

The AHRC once again reiterates its call for the King to immediately release all persons arrested and detained for “infringements” of the disproportionate curfew and anti-constitutional ban on demonstrations, for these draconian measures to be repealed, and for the demonstrations not only to be allowed to proceed unhindered but for their demands to be heeded, enabling a truly democratic process to take place in Nepal.

Persons arrested on Saturday 21, 2006

The following persons were arrested in Baneshwor during a meeting held by the ‘Democratic Creators’

1. Aanand Dev Bhatta
2. Hari Govind Lueital.
3. Ukta Shrestha
4. Rudhra Kheral
5. Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bhandari
6. Vaskar Gautam
7. Bimal Aryal
8. Anubhav Ajit.
9. Nanda Krishna Joshi
10. Arjun Parajuli
11. Ramesh Bhatari
12. Bijaya Siwakoti
13. Binu Chapagai

The following persons were arrested during other demonstrations

1. Madhukar Khanal  
2. Ram Hari Lamshal
3. Satyadavi Yadhav 
4. Jagdishwor 
5. Nara Shima 
6. Ashok tamang 
7. Ganga Pandya 
8. Suman Neupane 
9. Guru  Ghimere 
10. Bijul Bishwakarma
11. Arjun Josi
12. Suparva Ghimere
13. Lok Bahadur Khatri 
14. Rubin Gandarva
15. Meghraj Khanal
16. Keshab Budathoki 
17. Ganesh shai
18. Laxman Khadka
19. Depak Pathak
20. Kamala Pangani
21. Khaji Kumar 
22. Rabindra Adhikari 
23. Aman Shrestha
24. Gopal Thapa 
25. Nadan Kumar Sharma 
26. Shanti Bishwakarma
27. Sova Saha
28. Ratna Gurung 
29. Nabin, Akhil 
30. Raman Shrestha
31. Raju Upreti
32. Hira Nanda Devkota
33. Sunita Rokka
34. Prem Kandel
35. Chhaya devi Parajuli
36. Rudhra Bahadur pandey
37. Nabin parkash Jung
38. Ganesh man gurung
39. Ramsharan Mahat
40. Ubaraj Gyawali
41. Khemraj Bhatari
42. Modnath prashit
43. Sova Sapkota
44. Govinda bhandari
45. Jagdish Sharma
46. Ram Hari Lamshal
47. Janardan khanal
48. Ganga Pandya 
49. Narayan Khanal
50. Gahanashyam Sharma 
51. Mahendra Khanal 
52. Sahsi Shrestha 
53. Sukraraj Sharma 
54. Pravu Nrayan Chaudhari
55. Madhev Adhikari
56. Nagendra Rai
57. Satya Man Parajuli
58. BImal Chandra Giri
59. Mahanta Thakur
60. Mahesh Acharya
61. Manju Khad
62. Ambika Neupane 
63. Shanta Sharma 
64. Dhana Khatiwada
65. Sarswati Tiwari
66. Satya raj Parajuli
67. Damoder Parshad Dawadi 
68. Narayan Khanal  
69. Akhala Hushen
70. Madhab Baskota
71. Ashok 
72. Hari lamechhane
73. Jhalak Bastola
74. Ram Kumar Thapa
75. Devi Singh
76. Jhalak Bahadur Karki
77. Gobinda Basnet
78. Vikram Malla
79. Prabin SHrestha
80. Anil Bashyal
81. Deepesh Dash Shrestha

Persons arrested on Sunday January 22, 2006

S N  Name                        Political Affiliation

1      Rajendra Gautam      C P N UML
2      Binod Dhakal            Do
3      Ramlal Shah              Do
4      Min Acharya             Do
5      Bhanu Koirala           Do
6      Mohan Udash             Do
7      Mukesh Budhathoki   Do
8      Kedar Basnet             Nepali Congress
9      Rajendra Rijal           Nepali Congress
10    Kavi Timilshina        ANNFSU
11    Ajish Subba               Do

About AHRC The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984

Document Type : Statement
Document ID : AS-010-2006
Countries : Nepal,