Press Release – Nepal Police’s crackdown on Madheshi activists / On Human Rights Day

Press Release
2015 December 10

Nepal Police’s crackdown on Madheshi activists / On Human Rights Day, police arrests more than a dozen from Sarlahi for trying to hold an interaction program

12341544_1038757016165788_2129442968834382598_nOn 10th December, Nepal Police have foiled a peaceful interaction program in Sarlahi district and have arrested more than a dozen of Madheshi activists, including Kailash Mahato, the sub-coordinator of the Alliance for Independent Madhesh, the chief guest for the program. The arrested people include senior members Dharma Lal Ray, Hridaya Narayan Chaudhari and Saroj Yadav. The police used force and threat to disperse the gathered mass of about three hundred people, and vandalised the program venue.

Similarly, on 7th December, Nepal Police arrested Roshan Sah, the proprietor of the Ashutosh Printing Press from the Patan Industrial Area in Kathmandu on the accusation of “printing pamphlets with Buddha Gandhi and Mandela on its cover and biography of Dr. C. K. Raut on its back.”[1] Police have filed a public offence charge against him. He is still under custody.

Likewise, among the four activists detained on 24th November, while they were holding a meeting in Bariyarpur of Bara district to commemorate November 26th as ‘the Racial Arrest Day’, through peaceful placard demonstrations, Brajesh Singh and Sadam Ansari have been sent to prison in Birgunj for pre-trial detention, with a clear motivation to torture them. Police have filed a fake charge against all of them, namely Brajesh Singh, Sadam Ansari, Binod Sarraf and Bitu Sah. On 24th November, before arresting them, the police had locked about 30 participants inside the meeting room inhumanly [2].

On 26th November, Nepal Police arrested more than a hundred activists of the Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM) led by Dr. C. K. Raut, from various districts, while they were demonstrating to mark the Sundhara Racial Arrest of 2014. The police arrested 31 activists from Kathmandu, protesting in front of the United Nations building to submit a memorandum, 34 from Siraha, 24 from Rauthat, 4 from Bara, and one from Parsa district [3]. The police used force in Biratnagar and Lahan, injuring about half a dozen of activists, and seizing loudspeakers and two bicycles. However, all of them were released later, after keeping three dozen of them for a night, subjecting them to mental torture using coercion and threats. The Alliance had decided to commemorate November 26th as ‘the Racial Arrest Day’, through peaceful placard demonstrations, to mark the arrest of more than 300 Madheshis one year ago on the same day, from the Sundhara area of Kathmandu, when the Nepal Police had arrested them just by looking at the colour of their skin (See, Amnesty International Appeal [4], Asian Human Rights Commission Report [5]).

Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM) condemns such undemocratic and cowardly acts of Nepal Police. Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM) is a coalition of Madheshi people, activists, political parties and various social organisations working for the independence of Madhesh, through non-violent and peaceful means following the principles of Buddha, Gandhi and Mandela. The alliance advocates an end to Nepali colonisation, racism, slavery and discrimination imposed on the Madheshis. It stands for three pillars: (a) Independent Madhesh (b) Democratic System, and (c) Peaceful and Non-violent Means.

Acknowledging that the rights to freedom of speech, movement, peaceful assembly and association are the fundamental rights of all human beings everywhere, as also mandated by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), of which Nepal is a signatory, we expect acknowledgement and assurance of the rights to freedom of expression, movement and peaceful assembly from the state and its agencies. We hereby appeal to all human rights bodies, journalists and international communities to oppose any infringement on fundamental human rights by the Government of Nepal and its agencies, to secure immediate and unconditional release of the detainees, and to ensure fundamental human rights and freedom of expression for all.

Abdul Khan, Spokesperson
Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM)




[4] Nepal: Dissenting Voices at Risk
Amnesty International, 5 December 2014, Index number: ASA 31/008/2014

“The arrests of CK Raut and fellow Madhesi activists on 25 and 26 November for attempting to hold a rally in Kathmandu constitute violations of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly; the Government of Nepal must actively protect the space for political debate, including dissenting views on the constitution. Altogether, the Nepal police and Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) arrested more than 300 people and held some 30 individuals, including Raut, for up to 48 hours.”

[5] NEPAL: Mass arrests on eve of SAARC summit
Asian Human Rights Commission, November 29, 2014