UN human rights agency calls on Maoist Communist Party of Nepal to prevent abuses

28 June 2006 –

Expressing concern that civilians in Nepal continue to be abducted and held by the Maoist Communist Party (CPN-M), the United Nations human rights agency has called for the group to prevent and investigate all allegations of such abuses, warning that abductions of non-combatants for any reason violates international human rights standards.

Officials from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) raised these issues at a meeting with the Communist leaders on 23 June and in a subsequent letter, the agency said in a news release, highlighting in particular abductions and killings in the Central Region that have led to the deaths of nine people since 3 May.

In most of the cases, the victims were accused of “crimes” or “offences” and were apparently under investigation, but the statement said that OHCHR had continued to emphasize that “abductions of civilians for any reason are in violation of CPN-M’s commitment to international human rights standards.”

“Civilians and CPN-M cadres suspected of criminal activity should be turned over to the relevant State authorities so that they can be investigated and where appropriate, prosecuted in a timely manner in accordance with international due process and fair trial standards,” said David Johnson, speaking as Officer-in-Charge of OHCHR.

“In the meantime, OHCHR urges the CPN-M leadership to set up an internal oversight mechanism at the national level to ensure that thorough investigations into allegations of abuses by its own cadres are undertaken in order to prevent such abuses in the future.”

In some of those cases, local CPN-M leaders had accepted responsibility and had apologized. OHCHR remains concerned, however, that civilians continue to be abducted and held by the CPN-M in spite of repeated expressions of concern by the Agency.

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