The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva has expressed its serious concern over the threat issued to three prominent civil society members in Nepal.
A news published by Inter Press Service (IPS), a news agency from United Nations on February 15 stated that OHCHR is concerned about terming human rights defenders Kul Chandra Gautam, a former UN assistant secretary-general and a longstanding deputy executive director of the UN children's agency UNICEF, Kanak Mani Dixit, a former press officer at the UN's Department of Public Information (DPI) in New York and currently a senior Nepali journalist and Subodh Raj Pyakurel, Chairperson of Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), the largest non-governmental human rights organisation in Nepal as 'people's enemies'.
"We are concerned about the branding of these human rights defenders as 'the people's enemies' by a magazine affiliated with the ruling political party in Nepal," IPS quoted a spokesperson of OHCHR in Geneva as saying on February 15.
"The government of Nepal has a duty to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all its citizens, particularly those of human rights defenders, who are frequently at greater personal risk because of their efforts to support human rights. At this critical stage of the peace process in Nepal, it is very important that the space for human rights defenders is not narrowed or threatened," the spokesperson added.
The three civil society leaders of Nepal, Gautam, Pyakurel and Dixit were portrayed as “people's enemies ” in a recent cover article published in Lalrakshyak Monthly (Volume IV, Issue 5, Edition for 28 January-27 February 2012).