Crisis in Nepal
The Advocacy Project
The following was drafted by a group
of human rights defenders from Kathmandu on Saturday February
5, in response to the military coup in Nepal.
We, the members of the Nepalese human
rights community, express our serious concern regarding the King's
February 1, 2005 announcement of forming government under his
chairmanship and the declaration of "state of emergency"
and virtually handing over the country's governance to the Royal
Nepal Army. The King's invocation of Article 27 - C to usurp all
state power is a fraud on the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal,
1990. We, the Nepalese people now live under an illegal military
rule headed by the King.
As you are aware almost all the rights
guaranteed by the Nepalese Constitution and those enshrined in
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, and other international instruments
that Nepal is a party to have been suspended. Complete press censorship
has been imposed. All means of communication including telephones,
internet, and cable TV access to international news media have
been severed. All this has been done to create complete terror
and panic among the ordinary people.
The King's actions violate international
practices and legal standards for human rights even under the
conditions of a legitimate "state of emergency." We
are deeply concerned by the growing number of political prisoners
and the increasing insecurity of human rights defenders, journalists,
and lawyers. The current surveillance, monitoring, and harassment
of human rights organizations and activists, including obstacles
set in place to interrupt the work of the National Human Rights
Commission, as well as the harassment of journalists, is unacceptable.
During this critical time, we, the Nepalese
human rights defenders, urge the international community to take
the following immediate measures to ensure the protection of the
fundamental human rights of the citizens and safety of political
activists, human rights defenders, journalists, and lawyers, and
stop ongoing atrocities by the security forces.
1. The continuing illegal detention of
the leaders of the political parties and students' organizations
violates the basic norms of human rights and the exercise of political
rights. We urge the international community to put adequate pressure
on the new regime to disclose the whereabouts of the illegally
detained leaders, to refrain from torture, and initiate measures
for their unconditional release.
2. The growing insecurity of human rights
defenders, journalists, and lawyers creates further fear and terror
among the common people. It also creates obstacles to conduct
investigations of human rights abuses. We urge the international
community to undertake immediate measures to get guarantees for
their safety so they may carry out their legitimate activities
without any form of interruption.
3. The King's direct rule is the establishment
of a military regime in Nepal. We request all foreign governments
to stop all forms of military support, including supplying arms
and ammunition to the Nepalese government, which are being used
to brutally suppress the rights of the common people.
4. We urge the international community
to put pressure on Nepalese authorities to reinstate all fundamental
human rights of the citizen that are indispensable, inalienable
and indivisible, which are currently suspended.
5. The restriction of free flow of information
and media censorship violates the people rights to freedom of
information. So, we request the international community to take
diplomatic actions to convince the King to lift all forms of media
6. The shut down of communication services
creates severe difficulties for the common people to carry out
even daily tasks, as well as restricting democratic practices
and civil society activities. We request the international community
to put immediate pressure on the King to resume all communication
services with immediate effect.
We strongly urge your immediate intervention
in order to restore democracy and protect the rights of all Nepalese
citizens. We believe that this is a legitimate obligation of the
international community under the charter of the United Nations
to uphold fundamental human rights and democracy among all member
states of UN.
This appeal has been submitted on behalf
of 25 leading Human Rights Organizations. Due to the current threat
to human rights defenders, the names of the organizations have
been kept confidential.
INSN is the International Nepal Solidarity
Network, which has activists in over a dozen countries around
the world who are working to bring democracy to Nepal. Visit their
for regular updates related to the Nepal crisis.