Friday, May 26, 2006

RNA Responsible for Torture, Disappearances :OHCHR

Ian Martin, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) representative in Nepal, said that the army personnel at the Bhairav Nath Battalion of the erstwhile Royal Nepalese Army (now, the Nepali Army) were responsible for the disappearance of 49 persons.

"Our investigations show that the whereabouts of least 49 persons, and probably many more, remains unknown," Martin said.

Martin, releasing the OHCHR report on Friday, said "most of the hundreds of individuals arrested by the RNA in 2003, and held for varying durations at the Maharajgunj barracks, were subjected to severe and prolonged ill-treatment and torture. The Bhairav Nath battalion was chiefly responsible for their abuse."

He said the RNA had continuously flouted national and international norms regarding the detention of suspected insurgents, especially at the times of armed conflicts. "Appeals for fair treatment of the detainees, both at the national and international levels, were continuously ignored," Martin added.

The Bhairav Nath battalion has now accepted responsibility for the arrest and detention of 137 people, who were later transferred or released.

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