Incident Reports

FORUM-ASIA Concerned Over Threat Issued to Civil Society Members


Kathmandu / February 10

FORUM-ASIA, in a letter to the Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, has expressed its serious concern over the threat issued by the Lalrakshyak magazine to civil society leaders on February 10.


"FORUM-ASIA expresses its serious concern over the recent cover article in the Lalrakshyak Monthly (Volume IV, Issue 5, Edition for 28 January-27 February 2012), which has portrayed prominent civil society leaders of Nepal Kul Chandra Gautam, Subodh Raj Pyakurel and Kanak Mani Dixit as “people's enemy” and libelled other individuals, Yubaraj Sangraula, Gopal Krishna Shibakoti, Prakash Mani Sharma, Bandana Rana and Sapana Malla, " states the letter written by Yap Swee Seng, executive director of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), a regional human rights group representing 49 non-governmental organizations in 17 Asian countries to PM Dr Baburam Bhattarai today.

"We view this as a significant threat against the prominent human rights defenders in Nepal given the fact that the magazine is perceived as being operated by your own political cadres, the UCPN-M affiliated Voice of Revolutionary Youth", the letter said, adding that the Maoists used to put the same label of “people’s enemy” during the conflict period against those expressing different views and ideologies from the Maoists and ordered their cadres for ‘safaya’, ‘cleansing’ in Maoist jargon. Such intimidation and attacks, which only aim to suppress, silence and terrorize the voice of civil society including human rights defenders, journalists and intellectuals, should not be tolerated in a democratic society.

Reminding that during the Universal Periodic Review process in January and March 2011, the government reaffirmed its commitment to protection of human rights defenders and pledged to consider adopting a special programme to ensure further protection of human rights defenders in the country, FORUM-ASIA had called on the government to ensure the physical safety and integrity of the prominent human rights defenders who have been labelled as “public enemy” by the UCPN-M affiliated magazine and to take all necessary measures to put an end to acts of intimidation and violence committed against human rights defenders.

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