Nepal: arrest and disappearance of lawyer

The ICJ calls for the immediate release of Nepalese lawyer Shyam Kumar Shrestha whose arrest and enforced disappearance violate his right to liberty and security.

The ICJ’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers today condemned the arrest and disappearance of Nepalese lawyer, Shyam Kumar Shrestha, and called for his immediate release.

Mr. Shrestha, a member of the Nepal Bar Association, was arrested by security forces at 9:00 pm on 23 October at his home in Bagbazar, Kathmandu. The security forces stated that they were taking Mr. Shrestha to Maharajgunji in Kathmandu for questioning. They then took him away in a taxi without giving any further reasons for his arrest. Calls from the Nepal Bar Association to the Home Ministry and the human rights investigation bodies within the army and the police have not been answered. To date, the reasons for Mr. Shrestha’s abduction remain unknown.

“The arrest and enforced disappearance of Mr. Shrestha constitutes a grave violation of his right to liberty and security”, said Linda Besharaty-Movaed, Legal Advisor of the ICJ’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers. “He must be immediately released and if any charges are brought against him, they must be in strict conformity with Nepalese law and international human rights standards.”

The ICJ’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers conducted a fact-finding mission to Nepal in January 2003. It has denounced the army killings and the increase in the number of disappearances by the security forces and abductions by the Maoists since fighting between the two sides resumed in August.

Nepal-arrest and disappearance lawyer-press release-2003 (text, PDF)


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