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ACHR Press Release
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ACHR Index: PR/NEP/01/11/03
14 November 2003

Nepal urged not to set up the cover up commission

The 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.

The 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.

The 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]


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