NEPAL: An urgent call to save the lives of Krishna Prasad Adhikari's parents, on hunger strike for 41 days demanding justice
Mr. Madhav Prasad Ghimire
Government of Nepal
Simha Darbar, Kathmandu
Fax: +977 1 42 11 232
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to voice its deepest concern regarding the sharp deterioration in the health of Mr. Krishna Prasad Adhikari's parents, Mrs. Ganga Maya Adhikari and Mr. Nanda Prasad Adhikari. They have been on hunger strike for 41 days today, asking for concrete progress in the investigation and prosecution of their son's abduction and murder allegedly by Maoist cadres in 2004.
The AHRC has repeatedly drawn your attention and that of other officers of your government to their obligation in ensuring that this human rights violation - the abduction and murder of Mr. Krishna Prasad Adhikari - is independently and promptly investigated.
We are informed that unidentified men on a motorcycle abducted Mr. Krishna Prasad Adhikari on 6 June 2004 from Bakullahar Chowk in Chitwan District. He was reportedly beaten up; allegedly tortured by Maoists cadres before being brought back to the crossroad he was abducted from and shot dead.
A local Maoist leader reportedly informed his father that his son had been "wiped out". It is believed that Krishna Prasad was killed in retaliation for a land and family dispute, upon which a dispute was pending before the local Maoist's "people tribunal". The family has repeatedly been threatened by the perpetrators not to seek justice and were displaced from their home and land.
The AHRC condemns the lack of investigation in this case in spite of the family having immediately filed a complaint in the Chitwan District Police Office and repeatedly approached the Chitwan and Gorkha District Administration Offices, the Gorkha District Police Office, the National Human Rights Commission, the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, the Prime Minister's and the President's Office, to no avail. The AHRC is informed that the alleged perpetrators have been benefiting from high level political protection, which has reportedly brought the investigation to a standstill.
In 2009, the NHRC recommended that the victim's family should be provided with Rs. 300,000.00 as compensation, rehabilitated to their home and their security should be ensured. However, those recommendations have remained unimplemented so far.
Krishna Prasad's mother and father, Mrs. Ganga Maya Adhikari and Mr. Nanda Prasad Adhikari, started a hunger strike in the streets of Kathmandu in January 2013 and have been repeatedly arrested and harassed by the police. On 14 June, they were arrested and forcefully confined to a mental hospital for 35 days, their family members and human rights activists were not provided with an easy access to them. Upon their release they resumed the hunger strike on 21 July, and their health has quickly deteriorated.
The couple was forcefully admitted to the Bir Hospital, and since 20 August have been kept at the intensive care unit under police guard. They are not allowed to receive visitors. According to their doctors, the couple is on the path of metabolic derailment and have only accepted to receive intravenous drip.
Gang Maya's health is the most concerning, her blood pressure is reportedly low, she is suffering from deep vein thrombosis, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Her husband's muscle mass is diminishing although his health is more stable for now. The AHRC reiterates its deep concern for the couple's health and urges you to ensure that all measures are taken to guarantee their physical integrity, give them access to all the medical care required and yield to their demand for justice.
The AHRC is encouraged to learn that on 11 August, in a meeting with the NHRC, you had committed to see that tangible progress would be made in this case.
We wish to recall the provisions of the United Nations' updated set of principles for the protection and promotion of human rights through action to combat impunity mandates: "tates undertake prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigations of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and take appropriate measures in respect of the perpetrators, particularly in the area of criminal justice, by ensuring that those responsible for serious crimes under international law are prosecuted, tried and duly punished."
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement contains commitments by the parties not to condone impunity and to protect the victims' rights. Furthermore, The AHRC wishes to underline that the Supreme Court of Nepal has repeatedly ruled, that transitional justice institutions did not supersede the authority of the criminal justice system and has ordered the authority to conduct independent investigations and prosecute the perpetrators in a number of landmark cases of human rights violations committed during the conflict.
Therefore the AHRC urges you, as the Home Minister of Nepal, to uphold those principles and the victims' fundamental rights to a legal remedy.
We urge you to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the NHRC, in particular the much-delayed impartial and independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding the murder of Krishna Prasad Adhikari, for the prosecutions of perpetrators in proceedings that meet international standards of justice delivery. Furthermore, please make sure that the Adhikari couple receives the medical attention they need and are protected from threats and retaliations from the perpetrators.
CC. 1. Mr. Khil Raj Regmi, Chairman, Council of Minister of Nepal