Nepal : Open Letter to Prime Minister on the Threats against HRD by the UCPN-M Affiliated Magazine
10 February 2012 11:27 am

Rt. Hon. Dr. Baburam Bhattarai
Prime Minister of Nepal
Fax: +977 1 4211 086
Email: info@opmcm.gov.np, bhattaraibaburam@gmail.com

Your Excellency,

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), a regional human rights group representing 49 non-governmental organizations in 17 Asian countries, expresses its serious concern over the recent cover article in the Lalrakshyak Monthly (Volume IV, Issue 5, Edition for 28 January-27 February 2012), which has portrayed prominent civil society leaders of Nepal Kul Chandra Gautam, Subodh Raj Pyakurel and Kanak Mani Dixit as “people’s enemy” and libelled other individuals, Yubaraj Sangraula, Gopal Krishna Shibakoti, Prakash Mani Sharma, Bandana Rana and Sapana Malla.

We view this as a significant threat against the prominent human rights defenders in Nepal given the fact that the magazine is perceived as being operated by your own political cadres, the UCPN-M affiliated Voice of Revolutionary Youth. The Maoists used to put the same label of “people’s enemy” during the conflict period against those expressing different views and ideologies from the Maoists and ordered their cadres for ‘safaya’ (‘cleasing’ in Maoist jargon). Such intimidation and attacks, which only aim to suppress, silence and terrorize the voice of civil society including human rights defenders, journalists and intellectuals, should not be tolerated in a democratic society.

We are reminded that during the Universal Periodic Review process in January and March 2011, the government of Nepal reaffirmed its commitment to the protection of human rights defenders and pledged to consider adopting a special programme in order to ensure further protection of human rights defenders in the country.

In this light, FORUM-ASIA calls on the government of Nepal under your leadership to ensure the physical safety and integrity of these prominent human rights defenders who have been labelled as “public enemy” by the UCPN-M affiliated magazine and to take all necessary measures to put an end to acts of intimidation and violence committed against human rights defenders.

Thank you very much for your swift action on this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Yap Swee Seng
Executive Director
FORUM-ASIA

 

10 February 2012