Nepal | August 13, 2020

NHRC concerned about youths staging hunger strike

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Kathmandu, July 27

The National Human Rights Commission has drawn the government’s attention to the human rights of youths staging hunger strike and asked the government to address the demands of the agitating youth.

Activist, Iih, 26, an initiator of ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign and Samaira, 21, have been staging hunger strike for the last 10 and eight days respectively. The agitating activists are demanding that Rapid Diagnostic Tests be scrapped and PCR testing be increased. They also want the government to ensure quarantine safety.

Issuing a press statement, NHRC urged the government to address demands of the agitating side and safeguard their lives. The rights body has also asked the government to resolve the issue by implementing the agreement inked in the past.

Iih and Pukar Bam, 30, had on July 7, ended their hunger strike on the 12th day after the Ministry of Health and Population agreed to fulfil their major demands through a 12-point agreement.

The government had agreed to scrap RDT, increase PCR tests and release people from quarantine only after ensuring that they had not contracted the virus.

The government had also agreed to increase the PCR tests of health workers who were in the frontline in the fight against COVID-19. The government has also agreed to draft new regulations for COVID-19 handling methods. But, since the government did not work towards implementing the agreement, the agitating youths launched the hunger strike at Basantapur of Kathmandu for the second time.

The NHRC team, after visiting the agitating youths, also appealed to them to remain open for ways to meet a point of compromise and end the hunger strike as soon as possible.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 28, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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