Violation of humanitarian laws: OHCHR chief
Kathamndu Aug 19-The Nepal representative of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Ian Martin, has said the Maoists are responsible for the attack on public transportation in Chitwan and Kavrepalanchowk districts.
Talking to journalists in a press briefing on their investigation report on the above incidents, Martin emphasized the Maoists were responsible for the killing of passengers in both cases, and that it was a grave violation of international humanitarian laws.
Both civilians and security personnel were traveling in the ill-fated buses.
The reports blamed the state for failing to take precaution in protecting the civilians thereby breaching its international humanitarian law responsibilities “in the context of the Royal Nepal Army's repeated use of public transport facilities.”
Thirty-nine passengers including three RNA soldiers died while 72 including four RNA personnel were injured in a bus explosion in Bandarmude Khola in Kalyanpur, Madi. An improvised explosive device — a bucket bomb had caused the explosion. Approximately, 150 passengers including 12 security forces of Bagahi Security Post were on the bus.
Going by the reports, a group of “unidentified” assailants are said to be behind the abduction, abuse and brutal killing of three women, two men and a one-year-old child in Banbehda, Kailali on June 14. It further called on the rebels to conduct an inquiry if the cadres were involved in the incident.
Ian Martin, chief of OHCHR, at the press meet, said that the OHCHR teams in their recent visit to detention centres in army barracks also met high-ranking Maoists. However, he said the RNA needs a register of detainees and that “its lists of detainees are not complete.” Although the OHCHR is yet to have access to those held by the Maoists, the rebels, according to him, “have agreed in principle to allow us to visit those under their captivity.”