To: Ms. Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Mr. Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Mr. Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; Ms. Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Mr. Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; and Mr. Olivier de Frouville, Chair-Rapporteur, Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
From: Mugiyanto, Chairperson and Mary Aileen Diez-Bacalso, Secretary-General, Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)
Date: 18 February 2013
Re: Alarming human rights situation in Nepal with the arrest of 23 human rights defenders and a mother with a three year-old child
The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) calls on the Bhattarai government to uphold the rights of its citizens to free expression and peaceful assembly.
The recent arrest of 23 other human rights defenders including AFAD’s Executive Council Member, Mandira Sharma and a mother with her three-year-old daughter on February 16, 2013 is a clear violation of Nepal’s commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). It is also a violation of the 1992 United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance which was unanimously adopted by all UN members on 18 December 1992.
In Solidarity with the One Billion Rising Global Call to Stop Violence Against Women
The women victims and families of victims of enforced disappearances join the global call to STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.
Violence against women is pervasive. The increasing incidence of rape, domestic violence, discrimination and other forms of violence among women in both peace and war times must be stopped.
The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) condemns the arrest and brief detention on 25 January 2013 of the thirty-two human rights activists by the Nepali Metropolitan police for participating in sit-in protests outside the prime ministerial residence in Nepal.
Dubbed as‘Occupy Baluwatar’ (Baluwatar Satyagraha), the sit-in protest is being staged by citizens of Nepal from various professions, as a response to the government’s inability to curb abuses and violence against women and punish those responsible especially for the most serious cases of brutality on women. AFAD extends solidarity to Occupy Baluwatar protest for their demands for justice and rule of law.