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Nepal: Escalating reports human rights violations

Nepal: Escalating reports of human rights violations must be examined by United Nations experts

Amnesty International is calling on the Nepal government to invite the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Commission's experts to the country as a matter of urgency in view of the increase in reports of human rights violations by both sides to the conflict.

The organization is gravely concerned at the sharp rise in reports of arbitrary arrests and detentions and "disappearances" in Nepal since the collapse of the cease-fire in August and the resumption of fighting between the security forces and the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) (Maoist).

"We reiterate our call for the government to invite members of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit the country," Amnesty International said today. "Over sixty cases of arrests and "disappearances" by the security forces have been reported since the end of August. We believe the real figure to be much higher."

"Evidence suggests that hundreds of people are currently illegally detained at unofficial places of detention, at risk of torture and ill-treatment," emphasized the organization.

"We believe that the majority of people are being held incommunicado in army barracks throughout the country. Several people who have recently been released have made serious allegations of torture and ill-treatment during their period of detention. Most are held blindfolded all the time. Some have been threatened not to talk about their experiences."

Amnesty International fully supports the recent call by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for the government to invite the UN Commission's experts to the country to address the escalating reports of human rights violations by both sides to the conflict.

"We also continue to call on both sides to sign a Human Rights Accord which would give the NHRC a mandate to set up five regional offices to monitor human rights with technical assistance provided by the United Nations" the organization concluded.

Background

On 12 November the UN issued a press release in which the Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the Chairperson of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention expressed "profound concern over reports that dozens of individuals are being detained secretly in Nepal and are therefore at risk of suffering torture and other forms of ill-treatment".

Amnesty International's report released on 16 October (Nepal: Widespread "disappearances" in the context of armed conflict, http://amnesty-news.c.tep1.com/maabGvsaa2iZFbb0hPub/ ) documented the arrest and "disappearance" by the security forces of over 250 people in the context of the ongoing armed conflict, and recommended that the government should invite the UN Commission's experts to visit the country. The report also detailed human rights abuses, including abductions, committed by members of the CPN (Maoist).

The organization has repeatedly appealed to both sides to the conflict to abide by Article 3, common to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which promotes respect for civilians in times of conflict and in particular prohibits the taking of hostages.

View all documents on Nepal at http://amnesty-news.c.tep1.com/maabGvsaa2iZGbb0hPub/

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