Kathmandu, November 24
UN Human Rights Commission has stressed that any obstruction of essential supplies and services amounted to serious violation of international human rights law, including the right to life.
The UN rights body also said it was “alarmed” by the fresh violence seen in the Tarai districts of Nepal over the weekend.
“We are alarmed by reports that at least four people have been killed and many injured, from both sides, in violent clashes over the weekend during protests in Tarai area of southern Nepal,” Spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani said, issuing a statement in Geneva today.
Shamdasani said ethnic Madeshi groups’ campaigns of strikes and obstructions along the border between India and Nepal has created shortage of fuel, cooking gas, medicine, food and essential goods, thereby deeply affecting life in the country.
“We stress that any obstruction of essential supplies and services is a serious violation of international human rights law, including the right to life,” she said.
She further added: “We call on all parties involved to immediately ensure effective, safe and rapid passage of supplies.”
The UN High Commission for Human Rights once again urged all parties to engage in a meaningful, inclusive and open dialogue to create a climate where minority and dissenting views are respected. It also called upon the authorities to work with the National Human Rights Commission to ensure that the concerns of the protesters are heard and constructive solutions are found.
Saying there were conflicting reports about how events unfolded late Saturday night, particularly how the violence began, Shamdasani stressed the need of an independent investigation to establish the facts and to bring all perpetrators of violence to justice.
She called on both security forces and protesters to renounce violence, and urged security forces to respect the existing national and international standards on appropriate use of force.
A version of this article appears in print on November 25, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.