HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
CALLS FOR PROBE INTO KILLINGS IN NEPAL’S
Statement by Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, 22 March:
22 March 2007
I am deeply shocked by the news of at least 25 killings in Nepal. Reports received indicate that these deaths, alongside many injuries, occurred during clashes between the Madheshi People's Rights Forum (MPRF) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in the Terai area of the Central Region of Nepal. My Representative has today been visiting the site of the incident in Gaur to assess the situation and to support her teams currently in the region in investigating the circumstances which led to the many killings and injuries.
Our teams confirmed, first hand, the killing of 25 individuals, most of whom died of severe head wounds apparently caused by beatings from bamboo sticks. Despite the fact that there were a considerable number of law enforcement personnel in the region, only a small number were deployed to the scene of the incidents.
I urge the authorities to take all necessary steps to initiate a full and impartial investigation into the killings and other violent incidents and to hold accountable anyone found to be responsible. Such incidents must not be allowed to jeopardize the peace process, which is so essential to bringing about the long-awaited enjoyment of human rights to all sectors of Nepalese society. It is the responsibility of the leaders of all groups and parties to ensure that their supporters resolve their differences through dialogue.