The violent crackdown imposed by the Nepali government has resulted in deaths and injuries among civilians who are joining the peaceful demonstrations called by political parties, mass organizations, student organizations and civil society. As a human rights and peoples solidarity organization in the region, the Asia-Pacific Solidarity coalition (APSOC) cannot stand by while human rights violations are being committed by security forces against the Nepalese protesters.
His Majesty The King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev
Narayanhiti Royal Palace
Through the Royal Nepalese Embassy
Subject: Respect for human rights in Nepal
Your Majesty King Gyanendra,
We from the Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC) are writing this urgent letter to manifest our concern over the recent government crackdown on government protesters engaging in peaceful demonstrations in Nepal.
The violent crackdown imposed by government has resulted in deaths and injuries among civilians who are joining the peaceful demonstrations called by political parties, mass organizations, student organizations and civil society. As a human rights and peoples solidarity organization in the Asia-Pacific region, APSOC cannot stand by while human rights violations are being committed by security forces against the Nepalese protesters.
The restrictions on movement, right to expression and the freedom of assembly and association through curfews and other administrative orders in many parts of the country, including the capital city of Kathmandu, has further deteriorated the public life and is leading the country towards a more dictatorial route. We believe that such an approach will kill the peaceful options in establishing a democracy in Nepal, which the Royal Nepalese Government has been claiming.
We are condemning the Government’s attitude of ignoring the demands forwarded by mass organizations, the human rights community and civil society organizations to have peaceful resolution to the crisis. Peace cannot be attained by discouraging dialogue among the political forces. Repression of these political initiatives will only lead to increased dissent.
Since your takeover last February 2005 of the executive powers of government, Nepal has witnessed a worsening leadership crisis amid a decade-long armed conflict in the country. This current crackdown on dissent will result in more violations of human rights, and encourage impunity among the state’s security agencies.
Against this backdrop, we reiterate our strong opposition to the strong-arm policy adopted by Your Majesty against human rights defenders in Nepal, and strongly demand from your Majesty to immediately:
- Lift all kinds of restrictions on peaceful demonstrations and public gatherings;
- Release without conditions all human rights activists, trade unionists, women activists, journalists, student activists, political activists and all peace loving civilians who were arrested in the course of the democratic movement;
- Provide treatment facilities to the injured persons;
- Guarantee all the rights of the people laid down according to the international human rights standards, including freedom of expression and opinion, peaceful assembly, association and movement;
- Stop harassment of human rights defenders including journalists, lawyers, trade unionists, women rights activists, professionals and political activists; and
- Initiate recognized dialogue with the political forces, lifting the proclamation of last year so as to respect the rights of the people to have their choice of governance.
- Restore the people’s lives and their right to live in a free, and democratic land, governed not by dictatorial regime rule, but by peace, justice and rule of law
- We pledge our strong solidarity and support with the Nepalese people’s struggle for democracy, peace and justice in Nepal.
Augusto N. Miclat, Jr.
Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)
21 April 2006
APSOC’s 15 founding organizations from 9 Asia-Pacific countries:
Indonesian Human Rights Committee (IHRC) – New Zealand
National Coalition for the Union of Burma (NCUB) – Burma
Alternative ASEAN Network for Burma (ALTSEAN-Burma)
Timor Leste Coalition for the Asia-Pacific (TILCAP) – East Timor
Friends of the Third World/Center for Peoples Dialogue (FTW/CPD) – Sri Lanka
Asian Students Association (ASA) – Hongkong
Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) – Philippines
Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) – Mindanao
Yayasan Anak Dusun Papua (YADUPA) – West Papua
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) – Malaysia
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) – Thailand
Support Committee for Human Rights in Aceh (SCHRA)
Philippine Solidarity for East Timor and Indonesia (PhilSETI) – Philippines
Solidarity Without Border (SOLIDAMOR)- Indonesia
Pax Christi – New Zealand