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UN Human Rights Official To Visit War-Torn Nepal

Top UN Human Rights Official To Visit War-Torn Nepal

The top United Nations human rights official is to visit Nepal next week for a first-hand assessment of the situation in the Himalayan kingdom a month after a UN working group called on the Government to honour its international obligations to stop forced disappearances of suspects in its war Maoist rebels.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour will meet with senior officials of the Government, the judiciary and the military as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), human rights defenders and journalists.

In December, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances of the UN Commission on Human Rights called on the Government to institute such measures as a total ban on incommunicado detention and full protection for human rights workers.

Although the group’s mandate is restricted to the obligations of state authorities, it also called on the Maoists to respect human rights. The restriction “in no way reduces the urgent need for the Maoists to respect international humanitarian law obligations and the physical integrity of their fellow citizens to reduce their suffering,” it said after a nine-day visit to the country.

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