HUMAN RIGHTS DURING IMPULSIVE POLITICAL
AND SECURITY SITUATION IN NEPAL
GENERAL SITUATION UPDATE: A PRECISE REPORT
Raj K Pandey, MBS, MA (Rural Development)
GPO BOX: 19862
Mobile: 977-01-98510 86884
1. Philosophical meaning of the human rights is based on the concepts of dignity,
universality and natural rights. Political meaning of human rights is the respect for
the integrity of life, freedom and participation in political life. Legal meaning of
human rights is a rule of law, equality before and under the law, and protection
from all kinds of the injustices. Social meaning of human rights is the right to an
adequate standard of living, family, fraternity, solidarity, non-discrimination and
self determination. Economical meaning of human rights is the right to work and
distribution of resources for the adequacy of basic needs such as food, housing,
and clothing. And, ultimately, cultural meaning of the human rights is the right to
participation in cultural life, the right to minorities and the right to education.
2. Human rights are a child of law that is continuously enriching through the
needs, interests, demands and actions of the human beings. The adoption of
the declarations, guidelines and principles of treaties and customary laws are
the backbone of the international human rights instruments that contribute to
its understanding, implementation and development.
3. Police is the principal law enforcement institution of the central and federal
governments and the State's security mechanism in all: center, regional and
local levels and safeguards people's fundamental rights and constitutional
obligatory provisions. Consequently, Nepal Police enforces to the respect,
protect and fulfill international and national human rights standards following
international treaties and Nepal's Constitutional obligations.
What Have Been Accomplished?
1. Before popular movement in 1990, the police were subjected to serve the interest
of the certain elites and the tyrant regimes. Maintain law and order, investigate
crimes, enforcing criminal law, apprehend alleged or real perpetrators, protect
life, liberty and property of the individual/group, coordinate orderly movement of
the vehicles and people on the roads, crowd control, and mediating domestic and
social disputes are the principal functions of Nepal police. On course to respect
and promote the human rights policing, the government has established the HRC
desk in Ministry of Home Affairs. To minimize societal and cultural evils such as
human trafficking, gambling, pornography, prostitution, drug abuse and other
crimes, the police have established Community Police and Community Service
Centers. Police are launching a public awareness campaign to downsize the
crimes and enhance trust building with the commoners.
What Is Going On?
1. A total of 234 individuals have been extrajudicially killed in one year tenure of the
Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA), while the state security force - police and
the Maoists are responsible to 28 and 23 respectively. Other violent Madhesi
groups (ex-Maoists) are heavily pitted against the hill-and-mountain dwellers.
The state security mechanism has thus failed to control the criminal activities in
the name of politics. Over-two dozen groups in the Tarai involving into killings,
abductions, disappearances, torture, seizing property and so forth (Table No. 1).
Table No. 1: HR violations/abuses after CPA (Nov. 21, 2006-November 20, 2007)
No. of Incident
Perpetrator Killing Abduction Beating Intimidation captured
State 28 - 115 9 -
Maoist 22 405 253 162 104
YCL 1 90 127 24 18
MJF 33 7 35 5 -
JTMM 2 1 - - 7
JTMM (G.) 18 71 10 9 71
JTMM (J.) 27 107 7 34 65
JTMM (U.) 3 3 - - 5
Others 5 22 1 1 9
Unknown 95 66 - - -
Total 234 772 548 244 279
Source: INSEC, a local Kathmandu based NGO
2. Due to insecurity, transportation was halted for almost half the year caused by
general, regional, district and area strikes called by the violent, non-violent and
criminal groups particularly in the Madhes in 2007. The exacerbating gender-
based discrimination due to deep-rooted religious traditions and socio-cultural
practices and discriminatory laws related to property and welfare, women and
girl-children were particularly vulnerable as their husbands or close-family
members were killed/severely injured during the insurgency.
3. The women and girl-children who were compelled to leave their parental or
husband's homes faced severe detrimental effect of the lack of formal education,
opportunities, resources and skills. Displaced women and girl-children survivors
who were compelled to migrate in search of the employment from their areas due
to conflicts were forced into rape, sexual assault, trafficking, polygamy and so on.
4. Some accusations, which were taken up by the police due to pressure of the
women's organizations, were only dealt with under the Public Offence Act, which
is not enough to investigate and punish the perpetrators.
5. The violence to women and children - in many cases - initiate from their own
home or family-members and relatives, but such domestic violence is not yet to
be considered an offence punishable by the law. Nepal's patriarchal democratic
government has not opened their eyes to protect and promote the rights of the
women and girl-children in formulating a law to take substantive legal actions
against the alleged perpetrators of such crimes or grave human rights violations.
6. Torture victims must apply for compensation to the local district court within 35
days of the occurrence of the offense. The concerned court shall make an order
to assess the physical and mental torture within 3 days. The cost of subsequent
treatment has to be borne by the state.
7. Similarly, if the matter of such a complaint is found true, the court may order the
offender to compensate up to a maximum amount of Rs. 100,000 (US $1,282) to
the victim or his/her relatives. The district court may also recommend for a
departmental action upon offending police personnel.
Policing Practices for Human Rights
1. In modern world, police works for preventive, detectives, auxiliary administrative
duties (issuing firearms and vehicles licenses) and specialized units (traffic law
enforcement, crash investigation, cyber crime, explosive device disposal) etc.
2. In some countries, they are responsible to military police services (Gendarmeries
– military force of police comprising civilian population, provost services – military
police that serves within the armed forces and constabulary- a civilian police that
train and organize along with military lines).
1. The international communities, civil societies, press, inter-governmental bodies,
state and NGOs people who have been working for the better performance and
coordination, they have to work for the promotion of the mutual respect and
cooperation between the Nepal Police with the broad-based populace.
2. Advocacy, transparency and accountability are the fundamentals of human rights
that help to enhance a democratic policing with prime public concerns of respect,
protect, promote and fulfill international human rights treaties and rule of law,
rather than hindering human rights, their liability and freedom.
3. The UN agencies, European Commission and various international and national
human rights communities have again and again called upon the government to
take urgent steps guaranteeing the observance of the human rights those are in
conformity with their international obligations as Nepal is a party to international
conventions, declarations, guidelines and principles, but realization of the
compliance of them has been a less or in many cases has no priority.
4. Therefore, human rights enforcement shall be more activated across top-down to
horizontal-vertical dimensions putting the "last" people first. Indeed, human rights
is the eyes of life, liberty, security, dignity, equal/equitable development and self-
determination despite division of rich-poor, developed-underdeveloped and man-
woman, and high-low castes, ethnicities, cultures, religions and regions.
Raj K Pandey, MBS, MA
Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, GPO BOX: 19862
Mobile: 977-01-98510 86884