INDEPENDENT NEWS

UN Can Help Nepal’s ‘Grave Human Rights Crisis’

Published: Thu 13 Oct 2005 11:54 AM
Amid Nepal’s ‘Grave Human Rights Crisis’ UN Office There Can Help – Report
New York, Oct 12 2005 2:00PM
Nepal is experiencing a “grave human rights crisis" marked by killings of civilians, disappearances, torture and crimes against children, according to a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights which says its office there can contribute to fostering peace in the troubled country.
The report documents how human rights abuses are going largely unpunished in Nepal, where Maoists have been waging war since 1996 and the King has been exercising all executive authority since dismissing the Government in February. “In the few instances of which OHCHR-Nepal is aware, disciplinary action taken by State authorities to secure accountability for violations was limited, given the severity of the violations in question,” it says.
The Maoist forces have reportedly engaged in summary executions, the killing of civilians, abductions, torture, extortion, forced recruitment, the bombing of civilian buildings and the recruitment of children, as well as serious economic and related disruption suffered by the general population resulting from forced general strikes, according to the report. The leadership has taken disciplinary action against some personnel responsible for violations and has assured OHCHR-Nepal of its full cooperation.
The report flags concern about the abduction and conscription of children and limitations on their access to education. Violence against women and abuses of Dalits and members of indigenous nationalities, human rights defenders, journalists, leaders of political parties and internally displaced persons is also prevalent.
The UN human rights office will eventually have 50 international staff with a presence in Kathmandu and four other towns. Mandated to foster a climate of trust through consultations and dialogue, it can contribute to “the lasting peace that is hoped for by the people of Nepal, and that is the essential foundation for the long-term protection and promotion of human rights in the country,” the report states.
ENDS

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