Nepal’s authorities must promptly investigate the security forces who opened fire on a crowd of protestors in Saptari district in the Tarai, Nepal’s southern plains, killing three people and injuring 16, Amnesty International said today.
“This was an unlawful use of lethal force. There must be a prompt, effective and impartial investigation, and those responsible must be held accountable,” said Aura Freeman, Amnesty International’s Nepal campaigner.
On Monday, supporters of the Samyukta Loktrantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) gathered to protest against an election rally of the Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) party. The SLMM, an alliance of Madhes based parties, are boycotting the election as no changes have been made to the constitution. There were clashes between protesters and the security forces policing the rally. Some of the protesters allegedly threw stones and other objects at the security forces, who then fired tear gas grenades and used firearms against them. According to a government official, police had first tried to disperse the protesters with batons and tear gas before firing their guns.
Security forces in Nepal must refrain from using excessive force against protestors, Amnesty International said after at least twenty protesters were shot when security forces opened fire on several demonstrations against the country’s new constitution.
Force and the use of live ammunition by security forces to contain often violent protests have already claimed more than 40 lives in Nepal since August, most of them protesters.
Investigations by Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission and civil society, including Amnesty International, have found that in many of the protest-related deaths, the force used by security forces was excessive, disproportionate or unnecessary, contrary to international legal standards.
“More than 40 people, the majority of them protesters, have been killed in recent weeks. We continue to urge the Nepali authorities to rein in their security forces and prevent them from using excessive force,” said David Griffiths, Research Director for South Asia at Amnesty International.
The Nepali government’s decision to declare the post-earthquake relief period over as of 22 June, along with its refusal to waive costly and time-consuming customs duties and procedures, could leave the most marginalized people without access to desperately needed aid, Amnesty International said ahead of tomorrow’s International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction.
Women, children, Dalits, Indigenous Peoples and those in very remote areas are most at risk of being left behind.
“Countless people in Nepal are still in desperate need of relief following the earthquake. As the government has pointed out, hundreds of thousands still lack adequate shelter even as the monsoon has started, while food is by no means secure for people who must wait another three months for the next harvest,” said Richard Bennett, Asia Director at Amnesty International.
By Dr. Renu Adhikari, Nepal
Yesterday, the world celebrated International Women's Day. Today, world leaders descend on the United Nations in New York to take stock of how much they have achieved in the 20 years since a historic meeting in Beijing, where they promised to protect and promote the rights of women and girls everywhere. Dr Renu Adhikari will be among the many activists in New York. She tells us what progress she’s seen over the last two decades.
I have worked on women’s rights for the last 24 years in Nepal. I started out working on trafficking and HIV. I had met a girl who had been trafficked and her story made me re-think whether I should continue being a medical doctor or do something in women’s rights. At that time, I had no idea what an NGO was. Still, in 1991 I created the Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC) out of my passion for women’s rights.
The failure of the Nepali authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the disappearance of five men more than a decade ago is symptomatic of their wilful inaction in such cases, Amnesty International said ahead of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on 30 August.
More than 1,300 people are thought to have disappeared during the armed conflict in Nepal between 1996 and 2006. To date, not a single person suspected of criminal responsibility for serious human rights violations or crimes under international law committed during the conflict has been brought to justice in a criminal court.
“The Nepali authorities need to end the excuses and instead deliver justice for the victims and families of the disappeared,” said Richard Bennett, Asia Pacific Director at Amnesty International.
Every year on the International Day of the Disappeared victims’ families in Nepal gather to demand that Nepal’s government reveal the fate and whereabouts of victims of enforced disappearance and prosecute those suspected of committing them.
The Nepal government should act immediately to fix crucial flaws in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Act, particularly those highlighted in a new United Nations evaluation, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Commission of Jurists said today.
Nepali legislators should reject problematic provisions of the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) bill introduced in parliament on April 9, 2014, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Commission of Jurists said today. Despite a January 2 directive from the Nepali Supreme Court that the law must meet international legal standards, the bill contains provisions for amnesty that violate international law.
In particular, the bill retains language from a 2012 executive ordinance that permitted amnesty for crimes under international law committed during Nepal’s civil war. A landmark Supreme Court ruling rejected the ordinance, and explicitly directed the government to introduce a new bill in compliance with Nepal’s obligations under international law. Amnesty for gross human rights violations, such as those enumerated in the bill, is prohibited by international law.
Widespread and systemic gender discrimination in Nepal has led to hundreds of thousands of women suffering from a reproductive health condition that leaves them in great pain, unable to carry out daily tasks and often ostracized from their families and communities, Amnesty International said in a new report today.
Uterine prolapse – a debilitating condition where the uterus descends from its normal position into the vagina - is rooted in discrimination that has severely limited the ability of women and girls to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive lives. Harsh working environments, early marriages and having too many children all contribute to the condition.
“This is an urgent human rights issue. Widespread uterine prolapse in Nepal goes back to the ingrained discrimination against women and girls that successive governments have failed to tackle adequately,” said Madhu Malhotra, Director of Amnesty International’s Gender, Identity and Sexuality and Identity Programme.