UNITED NATIONS

Press Release



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HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS SHOCKED BY EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE IN NEPAL


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13 April 2006

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today said that she was shocked by the excessive use of force by security forces in Nepal, as well as the extensive use of arbitrary detention in violation of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

"In expressing his concern about the developing confrontation a week ago, Secretary-General Kofi Annan noted that virtually all avenues for peaceful protest in Nepal seem to have been closing," High Commissioner Louise Arbour said. "Now violence has mounted, despite the efforts of my Office in Nepal to urge restraint on both demonstrators and security forces. On Tuesday our human rights officers witnessed the most excessive use of force to date against demonstrators in Kathmandu by members of the Armed Police Force and the Nepal Police, and the toll of serious injuries added to three fatal shootings around the country has risen alarmingly."

"I remind the Government of its international obligation to respect the right of peaceful assembly, and I remind its security forces of their obligation to use only minimum necessary force even when faced with demonstrators throwing rocks and other projectiles. Nepal's Police and Armed Police Force have helped the United Nations uphold the rule of law in its peace operations. But I must make clear that my commitment to provide the Department of Peacekeeping Operations with information regarding individuals implicated in human rights violations extends to them as much as it does to the Royal Nepalese Army."