Int’l rights body releases scalding report on Nepal

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 14:

The Human Rights Watch in its report has expressed grave concern over the gross violation of human rights by both the government and the Maoists. It has warned that the international community’s failure to support the government could push the country into the Maoists’ control. It urged both the warring factions to comply with international humanitarian laws and end human rights abuses like disappearances, abductions, extrajudicial and summary executions.

However, the international community is “finding it increasingly difficult to justify military and political support for Kathmandu in the face of massive abuses by its security forces and the authorities’ unwillingness to hold those responsible accountable,” the report said. The report titled ‘Between a rock and a hard place: Civilians’ struggle to survive Nepal’s civil war’ was globally released yesterday. It has urged the international community to mount pressure on the government to abide by its commitments to international humanitarian laws and publicly condemn rights violations. It has further appealed to the King to accept “the limitations placed on his role under the Constitution” and respect the rights of the people.

The Maoists’ “systematic murder of non-Maoist political activists and well-documented use of torture demonstrate their lack of commitment to internationally accepted human rights standards,” the report said. The international watchdog appreciated the European Union’s consistent pressure which made the Royal Nepalese Army acknowledge instances of human rights violations and summary executions by its soldiers. The report has said the USA, the UK, Belgium and India have provided lethal and non-lethal military assistance to Nepal and that India, USA and UK have provided military training to Nepal. The Maoists have few external sources of arms supply and “rely largely on relatively unsophisticated weapons that they steal from government armories or capture from government troops.”

It has urged the security forces not to conduct direct or indiscriminate attacks on civilians or civilian objects, conduct prompt and impartial investigations into serious allegations of human rights violations by the security personnel and prosecute the guilty. The international watchdog has called on the authorities to cooperate with the National Human Rights Commission and other rights bodies and bring all possible prosecutions of military personnel for human rights violations before the civilian criminal justice system.