NEPAL: Current problem of human rights violations in Nepal

A request/attention letter from Mr. Ghanshyam Chamlagain & Mr. Chetanath Chaulagain forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

We, as independent citizens, have deeply studied and evaluated the situation of human rights violations committed by the Government of Nepal and being borne by the Nepalese people. We wish to stop Nepal from the critical situation of entering into a civil war again because of institutional corruption another human rights abuses such as murder, rape and abductions. We therefore call on the international community and the Asian Human Rights Commission, to take note of the atrocious situation currently occurring in Nepal.

On 19 September 2015, Nepal announced the implementation of its new constitution, which together with the installation of the Federal Democratic Republic, ended the two and a half century long Shah Dynasty, as well as the millenniums-long monarchy in Nepal. The 10-year long civil conflict was finally over, through the historical ‘Constituent Assembly’. Today however, Nepal is going against the spirit and essence of the Constitution of Nepal, imposing restrictions on all those individuals, organizations and political parties who speak against the government’s human rights violations. The government is now arresting such persons, as well as implicating them in fake-litigation, torturing them, and forcefully disappearing the members of such organizations. One example of this is the restriction upon the Nepal Communist Party, under the leadership of Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’, imposed on 12 March 2019, as well as the indiscriminate arrests of party cadres.

While the Constitution of Nepal is supposed to be the best and most democratic in the world, the current elected government of Khadka Prasad Oli is engaged in indiscriminately arresting members of the Biplav-led Nepal Communist Party, the leaders of civic society, different independent individuals and members of other organizations and political parties, in the most totalitarian manner, arresting even an infant with the mother at midnight. These people are being targeted for raising their voices against corruption, nepotism and favouritism, and demanding punishment of those who are corrupt and criminal.

Currently, Nepal is socially and economically weak, with poor infrastructure development. The political system and leadership are primarily responsible for people’s livelihood. It is tragic that people’s decade long expectations for the transformation of issues related to their livelihood have been derailed. Other issues are also being forsaken, such as the sovereignty of the country, geographical integrity and independence. The government is remaining silent on the India border and is unable to protect a large territory. In spite of her living history with great struggle and sacrifice of Nepalese people, Nepal is now compelled to tolerate the border-blockade, being unable to review and renew the unequal and unjustified treaties including that of 1950AD.

At the same time, Nepal is seeing a daily rise in human rights violations, including murder, abduction, battering, rape, human trafficking, and violence against women. Recently, on 10 July 2019, police shot dead Mr. Nir Kumar Rai. On June 20, police shot dead Mr. Kumar Paudel Lalbandi, and on May 21, Mr. Tirthraj Ghimire was shot dead by the police. People’s right to life is being thoroughly violated by the government. When activists and civic leaders protest against such government abuse, they face further abuse. Anti-corruption citizen campaigner, Mr. Gyanendra Shahi for instance, was arrested without a warrant on May 29, while attending an anti-corruption program in Surkhet, and has been under extreme torture. The police administration of Surkhet reminds us of a totalitarian regime.

We want peace in the country. We want all kinds of crimes to be stopped in time. We want the government to stop the suppression, torture and murder of those speaking out against the government, whether they are leaders of civic movements, cadres of political parties, or independent individuals. This endangers Nepal’s democracy. The Government should compulsorily implement the charters and rules on human rights proclaimed by the United Nations.

Several big crimes have been allowed to occur in the country, due to the abuse of power and politics. While the government is propagating the slogan of ‘peace and prosperity’ everywhere, it is crime and corruption that have been prospering. Heinous crimes like the murder of Nirmala Pant have been kept hushed up. An armed people’s war was initiated with the objectives of ending all kinds of discrimination and social suppression under the leadership of Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachand’ and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai in 1996. While the end of the conflict brought some people like Baburam and Prachand to power, it was not able to transform the issues of people’s livelihood and nationality. After a great loss of life and wealth, Nepal reached an agreement that ended the feudal monarchy through a people’s movement. Unfortunately, the new leadership was too power hungry to fulfil the points laid out in the peace accord. In the absence of the implementation of the peace-process, a rebellion took place amongst those who had honestly fought the people’s war with the dream of radical transformation in the country. Though the commission for the ‘Truth-finding and Reconciliation’ has been installed formally, it has not solved even a single issue even after these many years. The injured and victimized of the people’s war have been forced to organize a sit-in strike at Maitighar Mandala of Kathmandu. Hundreds of people have been living with bullet-bits in their body. Many serious human rights abuses committed during the war have been left unsolved. As a result, conflict and rebellious feelings are rife amongst Nepali people.

Currently, the government has imposed indiscriminate arrests and restrictions upon the Nepal Communist Party members. The police have been ordered to shoot dead the cadres of the Communist Party wherever they are seen. The government is also implicating persons in fake litigations for their different political beliefs. The freedom to expression has also been curtailed, with persons sent to jail for writing news against the government, or even for writing poetry.

Several of Nepal’s institutional mechanisms are ineffective, including the ‘Truth-finding and Reconciliation Commission’ that was established to identify those involved in human rights abuse during the conflict period, and to create an environment of reconciliation in the society. The regulations and code of conduct prepared for the commission have not been implemented however. Furthermore, the government has been trying to use the Commission to act as a consolation, while preventing victims from the right to impartial justice pursuant to article 147 of the Geneva Charter undersigned by the government of Nepal. The government has been attempting to protect the war criminals.

While Nepal’s rulers have been enjoying swimming in the dirty pool of corruption with their slogan of peace and prosperity, the people have been courting their feelings for movement and rebellion. However, the people’s right for peaceful movement has been snatched back, and the government is just trying to suppress the people. We abhor how the government is propagating its propaganda to the international community that there is peace in the country, while abusing state-mechanisms in order to fulfil their interests. We call on the international community to disregard the government’s propaganda, and instead study for themselves the real situation of Nepal. The international community must urge the government to prevent further conflict, and initiate a talk with the Biplav-led Communist Party to settle these issues peacefully.

Submitted by: Mr. Ghanshyam Chamlagain & Mr. Chetanath Chaulagain