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NEPAL: Withdraw the case filed against AHRC and others

Dear Mr. Agni Prasad Kharel:

NEPAL: Withdraw the case filed with malicious intention against the Asian Human Rights Commission and other individuals

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is writing to draw your immediate attention towards the case filed against our office and other individuals. We suspect that the purpose of filing this case is with malicious intention to frame the AHRC and the people associated with our work in Nepal in a frivolous litigation. We are informed that the complainant in the case is a former employee of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr. Kosh Raj Neupane. We are aware that Neupane is the author of a highly defamatory and false article published against Ms. Mohna Ansari, a Commissioner at the NHRC, about which the AHRC had written an open letter to the Chairperson of the NHRC, Nepal on 15 November 2017. Mr. Neupane was reportedly under investigation by the NHRC for his alleged involvement in financial irregularities, and he had resigned from his job fearing prosecution.

On February 28, we came to know that about two months ago a case under the cyber-crimes law has been filed against some individuals in Nepal, as well as the AHRC.

We would also like to bring to your attention that while thousands of users shared the AHRC’s open letter to the Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission through social media, the complainant has targeted only a few as the accused in this case. The filing of this case was also soon highlighted in an online news portal. It appears that the case details were purposely leaked to the media with the intention to malign the AHRC.

This case falls under the attempt of malicious prosecution. As per the Government Cases Act, 1992, the Government Attorney has the authority to decide whether a case should be filed against the accused based on the evaluation of the evidences and investigation done by police once the police report is submitted. We are aware that in this case, the Government Attorney has failed to meet the case filing procedure. The individuals named in the case as accused are yet to be formally informed about the case. Further the case report cites that all the accused are absconding. The fact however is none of the accused are absconding, but leading public life and attending their offices regularly.

The registration of this case also involves a direct conflict of interest. The brother of the complainant, Mr. Mani Neupane, Assistant Government Attorney at the Government Attorney’s Office in Kathmandu District Court, has reportedly assisted in the filing of the case. This is a direct misuse of authority.

The AHRC therefore urges the Attorney General to take immediate action against the Government Attorney involved in misusing his authority. The AHRC also requests your office to take immediate steps to withdraw the charge sheet. All charges against the AHRC and other individuals mentioned should be dropped.

Yours Sincerely,

Bijo Francis
Executive Director
Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong

# # #

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) works towards the radical rethinking and fundamental redesigning of justice institutions in order to protect and promote human rights in Asia. Established in 1984, the Hong Kong based organisation is a Laureate of the Right Livelihood Award, 2014.

Read this Open Letter online

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