UN condemns promotion of army officer involved in crimes against humanity
Kathmandu-based Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Richard Bennett has voiced concern over Nepal government’s decision to promote Toran Jung Bahadur Singh from Major General to Lieutenant General.
A press release issued on Tuesday evening refers to the OHCHR report of 2006 on its investigation into torture, arbitrary detention and disappearances carried out at Maharajgunj Barracks, which was under the control of a battalion led by Maj.-Gen. Singh in 2003-04 during the conflict between Government forces and Maoists.
The OHCHR then had recommended the urgency of punishment for the direct leadership and involvement of Mr. Singh in the crimes against humanity.
Mr. Bennett has met Defense Minister Bidya Bhandari and objected to the promotion of the army officer held responsible for the crimes against humanity.
Informal sources say about five thousand citizens, mostly voiceless citizens belonging to the most marginalized communities, have disappeared. The state does not appear to have had statistics about them. However, National Human Rights Commission of the country, has a record of more than 1000 citizens disappeared by the state.
During the insurgency period from 1996 to 2006, Nepal was top-listed for disappearances of citizens committed by the state in the name of counterinsurgency methods.
The current government of Nepal was formed recently (full cabinet not formed yet) against the outgoing Prime Minister Prachanda’s attempt to sack the Army Chief Rookmangud Katwal notorious for explicitly defying the elected civilian government. Mr. Katwal was also blacklisted for crimes against humanity; however, UML, Congress and other rightist cum monarchist parties restored him and expelled the elected government.
Tags: Crimes Against Humanity , UN , OHCHR , Richard Bennett , Army Officer , Insurgency , Defense Minister
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