Govt, Maoists urged to follow global rights laws

Nepalgunj, August 9:

The representative of the UN High Commission for Human Rights in Nepal, Ian Martin, has urged the government and the Maoists to follow the international law governing human rights and values. Martin, along with his team, arrived in Nepalgunj today to monitor the human rights situation. “Both the warring parties should follow the international law on human rights,” he later told a press conference. According to him, there is currently no state of Emergency and as such the government should not deny the civic society and the political parties their rights to freedom of expression and hold meetings. The biggest “operation” of the UN body has been launched in Nepal as the situation of human rights is at stake here, he said. Replying to a query on whether the commission is in contact with the Maoists, he said it has the liberty to do so as per the agreement reached with the government. He said the commission is constantly in touch with the Maoists, both at the central and the local levels. Peace is possible once the government and the Maoists are made to abide by the laws governing international human rights, he said.

Stating that the high commission’s office is still in its primary stage, he said: “Even at this stage, numerous complaints are received.” He said they are about “abductions and killings by the Maoists, illegal detention by the government, disappearances, killings and torture.” He said investigations into these complaints are on. The authorities concerned are being pressurised to justify the cases of such acts and the same would be made public if there are no convincing replies. Martin met Major General Dipak Bikram Rana of the RNA’s central western regional divisional headquarters, Bheri zonal administrator Min Bahadur Pal, chief district officer Binod Kumar Adhikari, officials of the national human rights commission, Red Cross international committee and NGOs working for rights and local journalists. He said a liaison office of the high commission will be set up in Nepalgunj soon.