HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: In a briefing to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, serious concern has been raised over the promotion of Colonel Raju Basnet to the rank of Brigadier-General in the Nepali Army.
During the briefing in Geneva about the human rights situation of Nepal, Syria and Tunisia, the human rights situation in Nepal was questioned critically.
According to a statement, on May 26, 2006, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released the report of its investigation into alleged arbitrary detention, torture and disappearance of persons at Maharajgunj Barracks between 2003 and 2004.
“The OHCHR based the findings of its investigation on more than 50 interviews conducted with the families of the disappeared, with former detainees and other witnesses.”
During the investigation, the OHCHR received consistent, credible and corroborated testimony of arbitrary detention, torture and disappearance, according to the statement.
“Most of the hundreds of individuals who were arrested by the RNA (Nepali Army) in 2003 and detained for varying periods in Maharajgunj barracks were subjected to severe and prolonged ill-treatment and torture.”
Throughout this period the barracks were under the control of the Bhairabnath Battalion, commanded by then Lieutenant Colonel Raju Basnet.
“The human rights community, including National Human Rights Commission of Nepal and OHCHR, has repeatedly called for a credible, competent, impartial and fully independent investigation into the alleged violations committed in Maharajgunj Barracks and other similar incidents which occurred during the conflict period in Nepal,” reads the statement.