urged not to set up the cover up commission
New Delhi based Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today expressed
serious concern against the establishment of a "National Human
Rights Promotion Centre" under the Prime Minister's Office
of Nepal. On 4 November 2003, Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa
disclosed constituting a human rights management centre under his
chairmanship. On 14 November 2003, government disclosed that it
has prepared a blueprint of the Centre empowered to recommend measures
to promote human rights and coordinate with other human rights organisations.
A seven member directive committee headed by chief secretary will
advise the Centre.
ACHR today sought the intervention of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights to persuade the government of Nepal to scrap the
establishment of such a center. In a letter to Acting United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Bertrand Ramcharan, ACHR
stated, "The National Human Rights Promotion Centre is a direct
attempt to undermine the National Human Rights Commission which
has been established under a parliamentary Act and has also been
critical of violations both by the security forces and armed opposition
groups. The National Human Rights Commission is being punished for
pointing fingers at the Royal Nepal Army for brutally killing 19
unarmed rebels in Doramba, Ramechhap on 19 August 2003 while the
government was engaged in dialogue with the Maoist leadership".
The NHRC has also been critical of mid night arrests of over 600
people since the collapse of the ceasefire on 27 August 2003 by
the masked security personnel and holding them in incommunicado
detention. About 1000 persons have been killed since 27 August 2003.
A total of over 8,184 people were killed since 13 February 1996.
ACHR requested the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to urged
the government of Nepal to strengthen the NHRC by giving financial
resources and autonomy to establish its sub-offices in all the districts
to monitor human rights violations both by the security forces and
the Maoists rather than establishing a centre to whitewash the atrocities
of the security forces.[END]
more information please call Director of Asian Centre for Human
Rights in New Delhi, India at +91-11-25503624 or 25620583