Respect Constitutional Rights: Stop Excessive Use of Force

Press Statement

Respect Constitutional Rights: Stop Excessive Use of Force

Advocacy Forum-Nepal condemns the use of force while taking Dr. Govinda KC to National Trauma Centre (NTC) and mishandling by the Nepal Police while taking him out of the ambulance. It is unacceptable that individual fighting for a cause through Satyagraha is ill-treated and misbehaved by the state authority even in modern democracy where everyone has constitutionally guaranteed right to expression and peaceful protest.

Furthermore, in light of the circumstances surrounding Ram Lakhan Jaisawal’s death (a prisoner serving his jail term at Central Jail Sundhara and allegedly died of COVID-19), AF demands the Government to conduct an impartial investigation in the case and carry out post-mortem by a forensic expert. It is reported that the body had bruises and was stained in blood.

In light of the fact that COVID-19 has reached the prisons and detention centres, AF reiterates for the implementation of the order of the Supreme Court to release the eligible prisoners in order to decrease crowd in the prison and thus, decrease the risk of COVID-19 among the prisoners. AF stresses that Ram Lakhan Jaisawal might just be a tip of an iceberg of how COVID-19 has penetrated the prisons for which the failure to act will be an omission of the State’s duty to take concrete steps to protect its citizens from a health crisis.

Furthermore, AF condemns the police intervention and excessive use of force in the peaceful protests organized in favor of reappointment of the former Director of Nepal Electricity Authority, Kul Man Ghising, in recent days. Similarly, AF draws the attention of the Government and the concerned authority to videos and news circulated in the social/ media where a group of policemen are seen encircling a protestor and then charging the protestor with batons on head, kicking the protestor and thus making him wounded. Furthermore, the assault of protestors (including women) by the police inside the NTC is a blatant violation of human rights, a result of the lack of accountability and continued impunity of police involved human rights violations. We stress that it is a legal requirement that women police should be used while handling women, the non-adherence which itself is a violation of rights of the female protestors.

While we understand that the Government has placed restrictions in staging mass protests due to the risk of COVID-19, AF expresses its serious concerns over the excessive use of force to disrupt the protestors in the name of complying with the Government policy. AF stresses that though it is the duty of the people to adhere to Government regulations, it is also a duty of the Government not to breach rights in the name of upholding compliance to Government policies.AF understands that this activity is not a mere excessive use of force but a torture by taking the protestor in custody.

Though the police institution has stated that the responsible policemen will be investigated and punished, AF asserts that such departmental actions will neither be enough to deter the perpetrators from repeating such acts nor will be justice for the victims. So, AF urges that the incidents be investigated under the prevailing laws of Nepal.

AF strongly believes that the act of the police not only violated the domestic laws but also various international standards and laws for which the responsible policemen should be held accountable. It is high time that Nepal Police takes concrete steps towards changing modus operandi on use of force by police, human rights adherence of police and the accountability of those responsible for excessive use of force and/or human rights violations. Finally, AF urges the Government to take immediate actions to investigate all the aforementioned incidents and take legal measures to provide justice to the victims and ensure non- repetition of such incidents in the future.

Regards,

Om Prakash Sen Thakuri

Director

Advocacy Forum-Nepal

Lamingtan Marga, Baluwatar-4

Kathmandu, Nepal

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Thanks for sharing @omthakuri, despite the tragic situation described above. I would be curious if @PrabhakarBagchand @hayazahid or @mdhanuka had any suggestions or experiences to share from the region that would be useful or insightful.

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Thank you Michael Otto for responding and suggestion…

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Here is another press statement by Accountability Watch Committee (AWC), a lose network of human rights defenders of Nepal. Unfortunately its in Nepali language. The main gist of PS is: Save life of Senior Doctor Govind KC, who is on 19th hunger strike demanding implementation of previous agreement between Nepal government and him, reform in health education and take action against the corrupt officers and politicians. Today is 17 days of hunger strike but the government is not listening to his demands, instead police manhandled him and forcefully taken him to National Trauma Center while he wanted to get admission in TU Teaching Hospital where he works. Publics who supported him came to the street but police brutally beat them. As his health condition is deteriorating day by day, AWC demands to initiate a talk with Dr. KC and find a solution to save his life.

                                               डा.केसीको जीवन रक्षाकोलागि अपिल 
                                                                                                             मितिः २०७७ असोज १३

सत्याग्रही बरिष्ठ चिकित्सक डा. गोबिन्द केसीले नेपालको स्वास्थ्य–शिक्षा क्षेत्रमा सुधार, विगतमा सरकारले गरेको प्रतिबद्धताको पूर्ण कार्यान्वयन तथा भ्रष्टचारीहरुमाथि कारवाही गर्न लगायत ६ बुँदे माग राखी थाल्नु भएको १९औं सत्याग्रहको १६औं दिन भईसक्दा समेत सरकारले उहाँका मागहरु सम्बोधन गर्न देखाएको उदासीनताप्रति जवाफदेहीता निगरानी समितिको गम्भीर ध्यानाकर्षण भएको छ ।

डा. केसीले ज्यान जोखिममा राखेर थाल्नु भएको सत्याग्रह कुनै ब्यक्तिगत स्वार्थ नभएर शिक्षा–स्वास्थ्य क्षेत्रमा सुधार, राज्यको सामाजिक न्यायको दायित्व, चुस्त ब्यवस्थापन, सुशासन तथा विगतमा सरकार र उहाँवीच भएको सहमतिको पूर्ण कार्यान्वयनको लागि हो । डा. केसी १९औं पटक सत्याग्रहमा बस्नुपर्ने अवस्था श्रृजना हुनु दुखपूर्ण अवस्था भएको निगरानी समितिको ठहर छ ।
डा. केसीलाई जुम्लावाट काठमाडौं स्थानान्तरण गर्ने क्रममा नेशनल ट्रमा सेन्टरमा प्रहरीवाट भएको दूव्र्यवहार तथा उहाँका मागहरुलाई सम्बोधनका लागि दबाब सृजना गर्न शान्तिपूर्ण प्रदर्शनमा उत्रिएका नागरिकप्रति भएका अत्यधिक बल प्रयोग एवं गिरफ्तारी तथा सर्वोच्च अदालतले निषेधित क्षेत्र लागु नगर्न दिएको अन्तरिम आदेशलाई समेत अवज्ञा गर्दै प्रहरी प्रशासनबाट भएका दमन जस्ता ब्यक्तिको संविधानले प्रत्याभुत गरेको हिडडुल गर्ने, शान्तिपूर्ण भेला तथा प्रदर्शन गर्न पाउने मौलिक तथा स्वतन्त्राका हक प्रतिकुल कार्यहरुप्रति निगरानी समिति घोर निन्दा गर्दछ ।

साथै, डा. केसीका जायज मागहरुको वार्ताद्वारा तत्काल समाधान खोज्न र उहाँको बिग्रदो स्वास्थ्य स्थितिप्रति गम्भीर हुनका साथै जीवन रक्षाको लागि अविलम्ब पहल गर्न सरकार तथा सम्बन्धित निकायसमक्ष जबाफदेहिता निगरानी समिति हार्दिक अपिल गर्दछ । जवाफदेहीता निगरानी समितिको तर्फबाट

चरण प्रसाई, संयोजक सम्पर्क– ओम प्रकाश सेन ठकुरी, 9841275732 … सह–संयोजक गोविन्द बन्दी सदस्यः संस्थापक संयोजक मन्दिरा शर्मा, प्रा.कपिल श्रेष्ठ, डा.गौरीशंकरलाल दास, कनकमणि दिक्षित, डा.गोपाल सिवाकोटी, शोभाकर बुढाथोकी, सुमन अधिकारी, देवी सुनवार, विरेन्द्र थपलिया, दिनेश त्रिपाठी, ओमप्रकाश अर्याल, राजु प्रसाद चापागाई, सवित्री श्रेष्ठ, जनक बहादुर राउत, ईन्द्रप्रसाद अर्याल, माहामुनिश्वर आचार्य, बाबुराम गिरी, राजन कुईकेल, बिकास बस्नेत, अनिता थपलिया, भक्त विश्वकर्मा, पंकजकुमार कर्ण, बद्रि भुसाल, रुकमनी महर्जन, रणधिर चौधरी ।

Around 150 participants including former chief justices, senior advocates, renowned social workers and human rights lawyers are discussing in a zoom meeting demanding to save life of Dr. Govind KC, what are his demands, how relevant and truthful are his demands, what are the roles of the government and citizens etc. Dr. KC who is on the 19th hunger strike against medical education mafia and their relation with powerful persons and protection by the politicians/government is on 20th day and his health condition is deteriorating day by day. There is need of international attention and pressure from the international human rights community. So, request the international community to issue press statements.

Thank you,

Om Prakash Sen Thakuri Director Advocacy Forum - Nepal

Hello,

Excess use of force and frequent violations of human rights in the garb of lockdown has been fairly common in India during this period. CHRI has issued statements against several such incidents and it had also in April released Guidelines for Police on Respecting Human Rights while Enforcing the Lockdown. The guidelines included actionable measures to assist police departments across India to implement the critical task of enforcing the current nationwide lockdown within the Constitutional framework. CHRI also came out with a short video of retired police leaders on Policing it Right.

CHRI continues to monitor such violations and cases. It has compiled cases on its website of deaths following alleged police excesses during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Hope these resources are useful. It is good to know what other organisations are doing in their jurisdictions. Look forward to other responses.

Hi Madhurima, Thank you for documents and updates about the current human rights situation in India. It is very helpful, especially your works and compilation of custodial death cases. Custodial death cases are increasing in Nepal also. We too have documented several custodial death cases and have tried to file First Information Report (FIR) at police offices (unfortunately in the same police station as law requires) and police have denied to register FIR in all cases. So, we are trying to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against denial of registering FIR. So, your experiences and knowledge can be very helpful for us. Keep in touch. Thank you