Junio 19, 2007

Nepal - 200 protesters in Nepal demand information on hundreds who disappeared during conflict

The Associated Press

KATMANDU, Nepal: About 200 people barricaded the Nepalese prime minister's house Tuesday, demanding the government reveal the whereabouts of hundreds of people who allegedly disappeared during a decade-long civil conflict.

"We are demanding the government provide information on our family members who disappeared during the conflict," said protest leader Sharmila Tripathi, as fellow demonstrators chanted slogans and blocked entrances to the prime minister's official residence in the capital Katmandu.

Tripathi said her husband disappeared about four years ago and she has no idea what has happened to him.

Maoist rebels gave up their armed revolt last year and joined a peace process to end the decade-old insurgency.

But at the height of the fighting from 2001 to early 2006, hundreds of people were detained by the army and many disappeared while they were being held. Emergency laws had allowed for soldiers to pick up suspects and hold them without charge.

The interim government, which took control in April 2006, has repeatedly said it will investigate the alleged disappearances but has yet to take decisive steps in that direction.

Nepal's supreme court ordered the government on June 1 to investigate the "large number of enforced disappearance cases."

New York-based Human Rights Watch issued a statement last week saying, "The Nepali government should quickly implement the Supreme Court's recent order to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the thousands of enforced disappearances in Nepal's civil conflict."

The international rights group said Nepal's new government has promised to find the truth and ensure justice for disappearances but has been slow to make good on these pledges.

Estimates of the number of people who disappeared vary and the government has not given any figure, but rights groups have said it is in the hundreds.

Posted by marga at Junio 19, 2007 5:58 PM | TrackBack
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