NEPAL: The Unacceptable Prohibition of Freedom of Movement of Human Rights Defender 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward a statement issued by a group of human rights organisations in Nepal, with regard to the unacceptable prohibition of freedom of movement of human rights defenders. For the security of these organisations, we do not provide their names.

The AHRC raised its concern regarding the denial of movement for human rights defenders last week, with the issuing of a statement (AS-23-2005) and an urgent appeal (UG-02-2005). This latest case of denying freedom of movement to a human rights defender demonstrates the King’s desire to have the situation of human rights violations in Nepal, go unknown to the international community.

For updated information on Nepal, please refer to our website

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

The Unacceptable Prohibition of Freedom of Movement of Human Rights Defender

March 11, 2005, Kathmandu

We express our serious concern over the restriction of travel of former speaker of the House of Representatives and human rights defender Daman Nath Dhungana at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on March 10, 2005. Senior Advocate Dhungana was traveling to the United States of America to attend a program regarding Nepal, scheduled to be held at the University of California, Berkley.

Mr. Dhungana was stopped at the airport by security personnel stating that Dhungana had no permission to travel outside Kathmandu. However, Dhungana had filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court of Nepal regarding the restriction of his travel without prior notice after news reports published the list of those prohibited from traveling outside the Kathmandu Valley in various newspapers. His appeal of the court’s rejection to register his petition has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.

We are convinced that the prohibition of the freedom of movement without prior notice is against the basic principles of human rights. The prohibition on the freedom of movement of Dhungana is a deliberate attempt by the new regime to discourage human rights defenders to carry out their legitimate activities. Such undemocratic actions ultimately create further obstacles for free and fair investigation and monitoring of human rights abuses, and prevent representation in international forums such as United Nations meetings.

We strongly protest the inability of the state to resume the rule of law in the country even after the suspension of civil liberties. We demand that the state ensure the “rule of law” in the country by enforcing the non-derogable human rights and humanitarian laws during the period of “state of emergency.”

On behalf of the human rights community.

(Name witheld)


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

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Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-08-2005
Countries : Nepal,
Issues : Human rights defenders,