Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 11:

A team of human rights activists, today, submitted a 12-point memorandum to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba demanding that the government declare a ceasefire with the Maoists and to work immediately for peace in the country and improve the human rights situation.

The team led by Sudip Pathak, chairman of the Human Rights Organisation of Nepal (HURON) also urged the government to find a way out of the crisis in the education sector pointing out that the organisation was willing to lend support on the issue. "The commitment to the peace talks should be practical and policy-oriented rather than being strategic," the team demanded.

The other demands include continuity and practical implementation of the 24-point commitment on human rights issues made by the former PM Surya Bahadur Thapa, making public the status of those who have been detained by the government during the conflict, allowing their relatives to visit the detainees, honouring the orders of the Supreme Court, allowing the human rights teams to inspect prisons and detention centres throughout the country and visit the detainees and making arrangements for providing adequate facilities and compensations to those displaced by the conflict and implementing effective working plans to empower Dalits, women and ethnic minorities, the HURON said in a press release issued today.

"The state should stop illegal detention, torture and killings and initiate trial for those under detention through legal procedures as per the Geneva Convention," the statement further said. At a time when the international community is concerned over the deteriorating human rights situation of Nepal, the security forces must be aware on the issues of human rights, it added. The delegation team comprised senior lawyers Krishna Prasad Bhandari and Sindhunath Pyakurel, National Human Rights Commission member Kapil Shrestha and human rights activist leader Malla K Sundar amongst others.