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Nepal: "Disappearance" / fear of extrajudicial execution: Bishweswor Prasad Pokhrel

, N° d'index: ASA 31/003/1998

Amnesty International is concerned at the "disappearance" of Bishweswor Prasad Pokhrel following his arrest on 5 August 1998 and fears he may have been killed by police in retaliation for the killing of two policemen earlier that day

PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 31/03/98
This is a limited action. Please restrict appeals to 15 per section
EXTRA 57/98 “Disappearance” / Fear of extrajudicial execution17 August 1998
NEPALBishweswor Prasad Pokhrel, aged 55
Amnesty International is concerned at the “disappearanceof Bishweswor Prasad
Pokhrel following his arrest at his home in Simrutu, Rukum District on 5 August
1998 and fears he may have been killed by police in retaliation for the killing
of two policemen earlier that day.
According to press reports, the policemen were killed by members of the Communist
Party of Nepal (CPN) (Maoist) who had laid an ambush in the early morning of
5 August at Bhalakcha 7, Laha Khola, Rukum district. They were among a group
of eight police officers who had been on their way to the district headquarters
in Musikot, Rukum District.
According to sources close to the CPN (Maoist), Bishweswor Pokhrel was arrested
soon after the incident by three policemen from the Simrutu police station.
He was allegedly then seen being taken to Bhalakcha 7 where he is said to
have been deliberately shot dead - although this cannot be confirmed as his
body has not been found or returned to his relatives.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that other civilians may also have been killed
by police at that same spot. Amnesty International is in the process of
verifying these reports.
From 1992 to 1996, Bishweswor Prasad Pokhrel was an elected member of the Rukum
District Development Committee. He was also the Rukum District President of
the Samyukta Jana Morcha, United Peoples’ Front (Bhattarai), (SJM), the
political wing of the CPN (Maoist). This was up to February 1996 when he was
arrested and imprisoned for 15 months on charges of attempted murder and arson.
Following the declaration of a “people’s war” by the CPN (Maoist) in February
1996, there have been widespread reports of human rights violations by police
mainly in the mid-Western region. These include extrajudicial executions,
“disappearances”, torture and widespread arbitrary arrests and detentions.
A recent upsurge of these violations has followed the start of a large-scale
police operation aimed at armed members of the communist party of Nepal (Maoist).
This was reportedly initiated on 26 May 1998 and has resulted in an alarming
deterioration in the country’s human rights situation.
Initial reports indicate that many civilians, including members or sympathizers
of the SJM, have been among those reported killed and that police appear to
have resorted to deliberate killings as an alternative to arresting armed
members of the CPN (Maoist). Members of the CPN (Maoist) have also been
responsible for deliberate killings and other grave human rights abuses.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
English or your own language:
- expressing serious concern at the “disappearance” of Bishweswor Pokhrel after
he was arrested by police on 5 August 1998;
- urging that an impartial investigation is established to ascertain his fate
or whereabouts and that the findings of the inquiry be made public;
- expressing grave concern at the deteriorating human rights situation in Nepal
which includes an upsurge in extrajudicial executions, “disappearances”,
torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions in the context of ongoing police
operations against armed members of the CPN (Maoist);
- reminding Nepal’s government of its commitment to the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, in particular Article 3: “Everyone has the right to life,
liberty and security of person”.
Rt. Hon Prime Minister Girija Koirala
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
Singha Durbar
Telegrams: Prime Minister, Kathmandu, Nepal
Faxes: + 977 1 22 77 65
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
Hon Govinda Raj Joshi
Minister of Home Affairs
Ministry of Home Affairs
Singha Durbar
Telegrams: Minister Home Affairs, Kathmandu, Nepal
Faxes: + 977 1 24 09 42 / 22 51 56 (fax tones for Minister of Home Affairs
can be difficult to obtain)
Salutation: Dear Minister
Hon. Achyut Krishna Kharel
Inspector General of Police
Police Headquarters
GPO Box 407
Telegrams: Inspector, Police Headquarters, Kathmandu, Nepal
Faxes: + 977 1 41 55 93
Salutation: Dear Inspector General
diplomatic representatives of Nepal accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 14 September 1998.

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