Nepal protest of Army war criminal’s promotion–Maoists and human rights activists attacked, injured and arrested

Police charging baton on a man, who was protesting a recent government decision to promote army officer Raju Basnet, in front of the prime minister’s official residence in Baluwatar, Kathmandu, on Tuesday.  Basnet has been investigated and accused of systematic enforced disappearances and having personally committed acts of torture at Bhairabnath Battalion headquarters in Kathmandu in 2003.

Nepal: 12 Maoist cadres injured during anti-govt protest

Kathmandu, Tuesday, October 09, 2012: At least 12 cadres from a breakaway faction of Nepal’s ruling Maoists were injured in a clash with police outside Premier Baburam Bhattarai’s residence Tuesday when they were protesting against the government’s decision to promote a Colonel accused of human rights violations.

The protesters belonging to hardline leader Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist party were demonstrating against last week’s Cabinet decision to promote Colonel Raju Basnet, who is accused of involvement in conflict-era torture, to the post of Brigadier General.

Basnet was in charge of Bhairathnath Battalion of Nepal Army, which was allegedly responsible for disappearance and torture of 49 Maoist cadres during the conflict period.

The CPN-Maoist cadres were baton charged by police when they were staging a sit-in in front of the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar. At least 12 of them were injured, local media reported.

Meanwhile, the United Society of Family of Disappeared submitted a memorandum to Bhattarai against Basnet’s promotion. The government has come under attack from almost all quarters over its controversial move to promote Col Basnet. International human rights watchdogs have also voiced their concern over the government’s decision.  PTI

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Govt cracks down on protest against Basnet’s promotion

2012-10-07

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: The government today cracked down on various civil society members and victims who were staging a sit-in protest against the promotion of Colonel Raju Basnet. At least 13 protesters were arrested in Baluwatar.

A Cabinet meeting had promoted Basnet — who was accused of committing crime against humanity by enforcing the disappearance of 49 Maoist youth from Bhairavnath Battalion during the conflict — to brigadier general last Thursday.

Those arrested were civil society leader Sundar Mani Dixit, lawyer Dinesh Tripathi, President of National Network of the families of disappeared people Ram Kumar Bhandari, human rights activists Charan Prasai, Satish Raj Mainali, Kabindra Raj Sharma, Suman Adhikari, Ganesh BK, Shyam Kumar Chaudhari, Shankar Budhathoki, Fanindra Luitel, Navaraj Adhikari and President of Society of the Families of Disappeared Fighters by the State Ekraj Bhandari. They were released after one-and-half-hour.

Issuing a press statement, the activists also demanded that the government withdraw Kuber Singh Rana’s promotion as Inspector General of Police on the ground that as head of District Police Office, Dhanusha, he was involved in the murder of five students who had been arrested.

In another statement, the Society also condemned the statement of Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Posta Bahadur Bogati, who had reportedly said that it is not mandatory for the government to implement the recommendation of National Human Rights Commission. “The government is run by politics, not by NHRC,” the Society quoted Bogati as saying at a function.

The Civic Campaign against Amnesty also demanded that the government scrap the ordinance on probe of disappeared people, truth and reconciliation commission with the provision of amnesty and formation of such a commission with the aim of providing justice to victims.

The protesters have also demanded that the government respect and protect the human rights of citizens.

The society has warned that the government and those involved in taking the erroneous decision would be held responsible for any consequences arising out of not withdrawing the Cabinet decision.

The Society has scheduled another sit in protest outside Baluwatar on Tuesday morning.

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