HRW asks Nepal to act speedily on all Terai abuses
May 5, NY: The Nepal government should ensure that investigations into all deaths and injuries during the protests in the southern Terai region last fall are fast, transparent, and independent, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
HRW said that it has learned that police are reportedly refusing to register First Information Reports (FIRs) filed on behalf of the victims.
“Despite endless promises of reform, impunity remains the norm in Nepal,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW. “Accountability for any abuses by both protesters and police are important, and unfortunately at the moment it looks as if alleged abuses by the police will simply be forgotten.”
Following passage of a controversial new constitution in September 2015, political parties and their supporters in the southern Terai plains began a series of protests which led to an effective blockade of imports along Nepal’s southern border with India. Security forces often clashed with the protesters over months of violence, leading to deaths, abuses and injuries on both sides.
In October 2015, HRW documented the killings of 9 police officers and approximately 35 civilian protesters. While arrests were made for violent attacks against the police, the government has not yet taken any steps to ensure that members of the security forces are held to account for serious human rights violations during the protests.
In its letter, HRW makes specific recommendations to the government of Nepal on necessary steps to ensure accountability for these violations including acting on the findings of the National Human Rights Commission to ensure appropriate disciplinary and legal action in cases of excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests and torture.
The Oslo Times/HRW