‘Police at the forefront of protecting rights of citizens’

Kathmandu, January 25

Speakers at a programme organised in the capital today said Nepal Police could play a vital role in protecting human rights of citizens in the country.

Govinda Sharma Paudyal, member of the National Human Rights Commission, said police were at the forefront of investigations into criminal and civil offences associated with rights violation and hence should be more cautious to prevent them.

“It is also very important for police to ensure that they respect human rights of citizens while probing into criminal and civil cases. National and international laws prohibit physical and mental torture of detainees. Though Nepal Police has improved a lot and is doing better in upholding human rights, the NHRC is closely monitoring its activities to make it more responsible,” he said at the workshop on ‘Role of Nepal Police in Protection of Human Rights’.

Paudyal also expressed concern about criminalisation of politics and politicisation of crime in recent times and urged police to act without tilting to any party.

Bed Prasad Bhattarai, NHRC secretary, said Nepal Police had failed to comply with recommendations of the rights watchdog for taking departmental action against personnel in some cases. “Police officials are well aware of rights issues but are sometimes found to be lagging behind,” he claimed.

Police Commission AIGP Pratap Singh Thapa said the law enforcement agency was committed to ensuring protection and promotion of human rights. “We have Human Rights Unit, which is firmly upholding international standards of human rights in policing,” he informed.

Human Rights Unit of Nepal Police trains personnel to be sensitive to human rights issues each fiscal. Training for Trainers on Human Rights and Law Enforcement for Senior Officers and Junior Officers, Training for International Humanitarian laws, orientation across the region on human rights and workshops on strategies to be adopted for prevention of abuses are some of the activities the unit carries out.