Govt word on rights protection hollow, say activists

Kathmandu, May 31:

Human rights activists today raised suspicion over the “democratic” government’s commitment to the protection of human rights.

They accused the government of not paying attention to the alarming report of the UN Office of High Commissioner of Human Rights. Published on May 26, the report said 49 persons might have been murdered at the Maharajgunj-based Bhairavnath Battalion.

“We have to suspect the commitment of the “totally democratic” government to the protection of rights as it has not reacted to the UN report, which proves extra-judicial murders in black and white,” said Dr Gauri Shankar Lal Das, a former member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), at a meeting organised by three former members of the NHRC. Prof Kapil Shrestha, another former member of the NHRC, said terrorism propagated by the army in Nepal is unprecedented in the 21st century.

“We made a big hue and cry when the king’s direct rule refused to be open on human right issues. To our greatest amazement, the democratic government is also helpless in dealing with army’s atrocities. The helplessness of the government proves the government is under army suppression,” he said, adding that no political compromise made with the army can be accepted.

Sushil Pyakurel, another former NHRC member, also raised question over the government’s commitment to democracy.