OHCHR concerned over ongoing political violence in Nepal

KATHMANDU: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has expressed its serious concern over reports of continuing political violence in Nepal.

Issuing a statement today, the OHCHR urged the political leaders and protestors to sit down together to find a peaceful solution to the current situation before the rising violence spirals out of control.

The  UN agency made such request a day after seven members of the security forces and three protestors were reportedly killed in Tikapur of Kailali district yesterday. The two year-old son of one deceased police officer was also killed in yesterday's violent protest.

As many as five protesters have been killed during the demonstrations across the country after the political parties reached an agreement on delineating the federal states on August 8.

The agreement was product of extended negotiations to draw up a new constitution further to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the ten-year internal conflict in 2006, the statement read.

The OHCHR said that there is a clear risk that the protests and violence will continue to feed off each other in the coming days unless all sides change their approach.

The rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly are essential elements in the promotion of democracy and human rights, the OHCHR said.

The UN agency said that the protests should be carried out in a peaceful manner and the protesters should not pursue violent confrontations with the security forces.

"We urge the Government of Nepal to create a climate where minority or dissenting views or beliefs are respected, and security forces only employ force as a last resort and in full accordance with the standards laid out under international law for maintaining public order, including detailed guidelines governing the use of live ammunition," the statement read.

The OHCHR said that it would support the call of the Nepal National Human Rights Commission for an independent, thorough and impartial investigation into all deaths and injuries resulting from the alleged use of disproportionate force by security personnel, as well as into the deaths of the seven security personnel killed on Monday.