UN rights chief asks both sides in Nepal to respect international law

25 September 2003

The Acting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand Ramcharan, today called on the Government of Nepal to "act swiftly" on a local investigation into a series of bloody incidents in the conflict in that country.

According to a statement released by his Office, Mr. Ramcharan welcomed investigations carried out by the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal into recently reported violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in the districts of Ramechhap, Siraha and Panchthar by both parties to conflict in the country.

"Mr. Ramcharan calls on the Government of Nepal to act swiftly on the findings of the Commission and to ensure there is no impunity. This should include carrying out with full transparency an investigation that is independent of the Royal Nepalese Army and prosecuting anyone found responsible," the statement said.

"The Acting High Commissioner also calls on the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) to fully abide by and publicly declare its commitments" to international human rights conventions, the statement added.

Mr. Ramcharan also urged both sides "to send clear instructions that their forces must protect civilians, as well as combatants who have laid down their arms, or who have been captured or wounded," the statement said.


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