Tuesday, September 05, 2006
DISAPPEARED IN NEPAL: FAMILIES WANT ANSWERS
Hundreds of people protested in the Nepali capital for the second straight day today demanding information about friends and relatives they say disappeared during a decade-old fight against Maoist rebels.
Over six dozen demonstrators were injured when police tried to disperse them from their sit-in near the Nepalese army headquarters in Kathmandu, eyewitnesses said Tuesday.
The protestors chanted slogans in front of the army stronghold warning of dire consequences if the government continued to ignore their pleas.
In addition, the protestors also blocked traffic at capital's major thoroughfares, including Sahidgate and Singha Durbar gate.
Protestor Chandra Kala Uprety said, 'We are not here for anything but to know the fate of our beloved family members.'
Senior Maoist leader Dina Nath Sharma said at the site Tuesday that the sit-in would continue 'for an indefinite period.' The Maoists expressed solidarity with the protestors and condemned the police action.
Another senior Maoist leader Babu Ram Bhattarai told a gathering last week that the Maoists would make public the status of those allegedly disappeared by them as soon as they joined the proposed interim government.
An estimated 5,000 Nepalese citizens have disappeared over the last decade of armed conflict following their arrests by the state-controlled security forces, the Society of the Family of Disappeared Citizens by the State, said last month in the capital, Kathmandu.
“I will never stop fighting for justice. We are not seeking revenge or huge compensation, but to find these perpetrators who murdered my daughter,” said Debi Sunwar, 50-year-old mother of Maina, who was killed by officials of the Nepalese army after she was heavily tortured following her arrest on alleged charges of being a Maoist rebel, according to Advocacy Forum. She was only 15 years old
The following is taken from Nepalnews.
Families of disappeared people continue sit-in
The families of the disappeared people by the State have started indefinite sit-in strike at Bhadrakali protesting the police brutality in their protest programme on Monday.
Over a hundred people were injured when police intervened in the sit-in protest carried by the families of the disappeared people in front of the Army Headquarters yesterday.
They said that the sit-in protest will continue until the demands are met. They are demanding to publicize the whereabouts of their dear ones, who went missing in the hands of the State.
According to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), national rights watchdog, the fate of 563 people disappeared by the state are still unknown.
Issuing a press statement on Tuesday, chairman of the civil society for peace and development, Dr. Sundar Mani Dixit condemned the government’s use of force in the protest of families of disappeared people.
Meanwhile, the temporary schoolteachers also organized a sit in at Maitighar Mandala to protest the police intervention in their peaceful rally on Monday at Bhadrakali.
Over three-dozen schoolteachers were injured when police baton charged in the protest rally of the temporary teachers organized demanding permanency in their jobs yesterday.
Various groups including civil servants have been continuously organizing various protest programmes to exert pressure on the government to fulfill their demands.