OHCHR calls on Maoists to stop ‘law enforcement’ activities
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) has called on the Maoists to stop their “law enforcement” activities around the country.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the UN rights body said, “The OHCHR-Nepal calls on CPN-Maoist to stop its “law enforcement” activities which have intensified recently especially in the Kathmandu Valley, and which have resulted in serious abuses of human rights.”
“OHCHR-Nepal considers these parallel “law enforcement” activities to be illegal, as well as in violation of international human rights standards to which CPN-Maoist has made repeated commitments,” the statement further said, reminding that these commitments included the directives issued as a result of the Maoist Central Committee meeting on 2 September, which explicitly stated that party cadres shall not conduct abductions, torture and ill-treatment. The meeting had decided that those responsible for such actions would be held accountable.
The rights watchdog mentioned that in its letter sent to the Maoist leadership on Tuesday, it had confirmed the abductions of 39 individuals in the districts of Bhaktapur, Lalitpur and Kathmandu in October alone.
The CPN-Maoist itself publicly declared on 21 October that more than 80 individuals had been taken into captivity, whom they accused of being linked to criminal activities.
According to the OHCHR-Nepal, Maoist cadres have held individuals incommunicado in hidden locations – thus increasing their vulnerability to human rights abuses. In September and October, OHCHR-Nepal made visits to eight places where the CPN-Maoist held individuals in captivity in the Kathmandu Valley. These places included several factory buildings occupied by the rebel party, and the offices of Maoist sister organisations, including the All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF) and the All Nepal Transport Workers Union (ANTWU). The OHCHR-Nepal said it has received reports of at least seven other locations in Kathmandu Valley used by the Maoists for the interrogation of individuals.
“OHCHR-Nepal has investigated a number of reports of ill-treatment and torture, including severe beatings. OHCHR-Nepal staff have witnessed serious injuries among those held captive by CPN-Maoist, consistent with claims of ill-treatment and torture,” the release said.
The OHCHR-Nepal also complained that Maoists had at times obstructed the officials from gaining immediate access to those in captivity.
“OHCHR-Nepal calls again on the CPN-Maoist leadership to stop all parallel ‘law enforcement’ activities, and especially incidents of torture and ill-treatment. State authorities have sole responsibility to arrest and detain criminal suspects, and it is essential for the re-establishment of the rule of law that all parties respect this,” the statement quoted Sandra Beidas, the Officer-in-Charge of OHCHR-Nepal, as saying.