Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong
Stop disappearances in Nepal NOW: http//nepal.disappearances.org
Ms. Kumari Damai and Kumari Nepali of Kailali District and Ms. Meera Adhikari from Nuwakot District, all aged 13, disappeared–allegedly during military action–in Nepal. Since then their whereabouts are not known and their families do not know whether they are alive or dead. Thousands of other children, men and women have disappeared in Nepal in recent years. By the time you read this appeal a few more names must have been added to the list.
Mass disappearances are a clear indicator of the exceptional collapse of the rule of law in a country. Those disappeared seldom return and those who return find it hard to live a normal life since by then they might have faced their darkest days. But most are later reported dead or declared killed in encounters with the military or Maoists, and their bodies are never returned to the relatives. The victims’ families are never able to complain or protest. They live in total uncertainty, waiting and clinging on to the last bit of hope for those who have disappeared. This situation needs to end NOW.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has details regarding 897 cases of disappearances from Nepal. This figure has also been admitted by the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal, where they have registered complaints regarding the disappeared which are pending inquiry. The official list and the information of the AHRC regarding the exact number of the disappeared is limited due to difficulty in gathering actual figures, since the reach of information within and outside the country is also limited and most cases are left unreported and forcefully hushed up by all sides. From information received, the AHRC has reason to believe that the actual number may be thousands and still rising. The available data is only the tip of the iceberg.
The police and the military establishment refuse to admit that large-scale disappearances are happening in the country. The domestic law enforcement agencies, including the courts, are not able to address this situation. It is often reported that the local police refuse to register complaints of disappearance and the Supreme Court of Nepal is reluctant to intervene on the ground of lack of evidence and authority. The military court is inaccessible to civilians and is far below the accepted standards of impartiality. All government organs responsible for disappearances enjoy absolute impunity, thereby creating a climate of complete fear, helplessness and silence. The situation in the Maoist-controlled region is equally bad since practically there is no civilian law enforcement agency working within this region at all.
The AHRC, an independent regional human rights organization based in Hong Kong, requests you to sign this on line petition to urge His Majesty’s Government of Nepal and other groups, including the opposing Maoist groups, to put an immediate end to disappearances and arbitrary killings in Nepal.
The situation is so grave and urgent that by every passing hour human life is lost in Nepal either by military action or by opposing Maoist counteraction. By signing this on line petition a copy will be sent to:
1. Office of His Majesty King Gyanendra
2. The Home Minister, Government of Nepal
3. The Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of Nepal
4. The Prime Minister of Nepal
5. The Attorney General of Nepal
6. Chairman, The National Human Rights Commission, Nepal
7. The UN Senior Human Rights Adviser to the Government of Nepal
8. The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions
9. Chairperson, The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
10. The UN Special Rapporteur on the question of Torture.
Asian Human Rights Commission