NHRC on docs' arrests: Don't treat anyone as criminals unless court convicts

KATHMANDU: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday urged the government not to treat anyone as criminals unless the court convicted them.

The constitutional human rights watchdog said its attention was drawn toward a complaint that some doctors from across the nation were arrested in an 'intolerant manner'.

The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police on Friday had arrested 36 doctors from 10 districts on suspicion of using fake academic credentials to pursue medical degrees or acquire licences from the Nepal Medical Association.

In response, the NMA, the umbrella organisation of Nepali medical doctors, had resorted to protests claiming the doctors were treated as criminals.

It had submitted a memorandum to the NHRC demanding that rights of the doctors be protected.

Following the arrest, the NHRC had visited Birgunj, a city from where the health professionals were arrested, and held a meeting with the suspects, who are currently in police custody in Kathmandu.

A statement issued by the NHRC Secretary Bed Prasad Bhattarai also urged the media to be sensitive toward rights to privacy of the persons under investigation.

The rights body on the other hand called the NMA not to carry out any activity which may deprive people of their right to health.