Asian Centre for Human Rights

Dedicated to promotion and protection of human rights in Asia

 
ACHR PRESS RELEASE
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ACHR Index: PR/NEP/02/06
30 January 2006

Boycott King Gyanendra’s administration

FCC, New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights and Forum Asia in their report, Nepal: One Year of Royal Anarchy stated that despite reduction of incidents of murder by 88%, kidnapping by 70% and extortion by 85% in the first three months of the unilateral cease-fire, over 1608 persons have been killed by the security forces and the Maoists in 2005. Sixty six persons have been killed in the first three weeks since the Maoists withdrew unilateral cease-fire on 2 January 2006.

King Gyanendra has abysmally failed Nepal on all fronts. The RNA lost further grounds to the Maoists and its capacity to strike at the rebels has diminished. The King has failed to win the hearts of the people as the Royal Commission on Corruption Control refused to take action against the corrupt cabinet ministers. The restoration of Panachayat regime through appointment of Anchaladis, regional administrators, has also failed.

The limited arms embargo by India, Britain and the United States had little effect given the volumes of weaponry already transferred to Nepal since 2000 including military assistance worth over 70 million dollars from India. “The procurement of arms from India’s rival China was an attempt to exploit age-old geopolitical rivalries rather than addressing any serious shortage of arms.” –stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

The United Nations General Assembly at its 60th session also failed to adopt any resolution despite reports of deplorable human rights situation from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Special Rapporteur Against Torture, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and UN Committee Against Torture in 2005. “This is a sad reflection of international community’s lack of concern on Nepal.”

The report also expressed concern about the lack of coordination on development assistance. “The grant of US$60 million by the World Bank for a five-year higher education reform is ill-advised. While the King has been trying to impose nationalist education, the Maoists have been trying to impose Janawadi Shikshya, peoples’ education at 10+2 level, which are part of the World Bank funded project. Over 15,000 children have been abducted for indoctrination by the Maoists in 2005. The World Bank project will only intensify the conflict for control of the schools” – further asserted Mr Chakma.

King Gyanendra and the RNA are opposed to peace, as it will undermine their monopoly over Nepal. The RNA repeatedly provoked the Maoists to violate unilateral ceasefire by killing six unarmed Maoists and a civilian in Bahadurpur area of Palpa district on 24 September 2005 and four Maoists at Limbu Chowk at Belbari-6 in Morang district on 15 October 2005 in “serious violations of international humanitarian law”.

“These activities of the RNA are not surprising considering that 19 Maoist cadres and two civilians were massacred in cold blood at Doramba on 17 August 2003 to sabotage the third round of talks being held between the Maoists and the civilian government in Kathmandu on that day.” – stated Mr Chakma.

Nepal has turned into a lawless country being governed only by Codes of Conduct and Decrees of the King. Since 1 February 2005, Asian Centre for Human Rights has recorded the re-arrest of 59 persons after the courts ordered their release, sometimes from the Supreme Court premises. Nepal has the highest number of enforced disappearances in the world with about 986 unresolved cases of disappearances, respectively 888 by the security forces and 98 by the Maoists.

Until today, the International Committee of the Red Cross cannot visit prisons and detention centers after it suspended its visits in May 2005, as the RNA refused to abide by the terms of the agreement which is practiced by the ICRC all over the world. “Therefore, only the rubber stamp of the RNA, National Human Rights Commission, which does not disclose the name of the disappeared persons being held in illegal custody, can visit the detention centres” – stated Mr Chakma.

Journalists suffered the worst and about 430 journalists were arrested, attacked or threatened in the last one year. The FM radios have been banned from broadcasting news and majority of the channels have closed down.

The risk of the Tibetan refugees has further increased because of the support of the government of China to the royal takeover. Many Tibetan asylum seekers have been sentenced to jail for the failure to pay the fines for illegal entry. It is feared that they might be handed over to the Chinese authorities on completion of their jail sentences.

“There is no way out as King Gyanendra is ready to risk the institution of monarchy itself for his direct rule. The fact that international community has put its eggs on India just the way King Gyanendra put all his eggs on China has not helped to improve the situation.” – stated Mr Chakma.

The proposed sham elections to the municipalities on 8 February 2006 will not give any legitimacy and Nepal is a humanitarian crisis ready to explode. Terming King Gyanendra’s direct rule as the most serious obstacle to improvement of overall situation, Asian Centre for Human Rights and FORUM ASIA called upon the international community to “boycott” or “disengage” with the administration of King Gyanendra by imposing sanctions including a visa ban and a freeze on assets of the members of the Royal family, government ministers, senior members of the Royal Nepal Army and state-owned economic enterprises; ban on military supply and assistance; and ban on implementation of economic development projects through the government of Nepal. The report also urged for release of political prisoners and respect for humanitarian laws by the security forces and the Maoists.

[Ends]

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