Nepal: Respect human rights during elections
Ahead of the second round of Nepal’s historic local elections tomorrow, Amnesty International calls on the country’s authorities to respect people’s human rights.
Voting is due to take place in areas where Amnesty International has documented serious human rights violations, particularly at the hands of the security forces, including the unlawful use of excessive and lethal force, torture and other ill-treatment, and arbitrary detention.
The authorities have a responsibility to respect and protect people’s rights
“The authorities have a responsibility to respect and protect people’s rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association and freedom of expression,” said Aura Freeman, Amnesty International’s Nepal Campaigner.
“The security forces must abide by international standards when carrying out their duties. They may only resort to the use of firearms in self-defence or defence of others against an imminent threat of death or serious injury, and must not use them to manage or disrupt public assemblies.”
Firearms must never be used as a tactical tool for the management or dispersal of demonstrations or other public assemblies and governments must ensure that arbitrary or abusive use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials is punished as a criminal offence.
In March, Nepal’s security forces resorted to an unlawful use of lethal force when they opened fire on a crowd of protestors in Saptari district in the Tarai, Nepal’s southern plains, killing three people and injuring 16.
In June, there have been reports of arbitrary arrests and detention,as well as excessive use of force by security forces against those protesting the second phase of the elections in the Tarai.