Archive ref no: NCA-18739
Document - Nepal: Further information on Torture/fear for safety - Saligram Sapkota
PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 31/029/2002
9 April 2002
Further information on UA 78/02 (ASA 31/020/2002, 13 March 2002) - Torture/fear for safety
NEPAL Saligram Sapkota (m), lawyer
Saligram Sapkota is feared to have "disappeared" in army custody. He had been held at the Chisapani Military Camp since his arrest on 12 March. Relatives who tried to visit him there on 22 March were told that "Mr Sapkota is not in our custody".
Relatives did manage to see Saligram Sapkota on the day of his arrest, at the Chisapani Army Barracks in Nepalgunj, Banke district. They believed he had been tortured, since he had bruises on his face and body. Army personnel had reportedly accused him of "indirectly supporting the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) (Maoist).
Saligram Sapkota is President of the district Appeal Court Bar Association.
The Nepal Bar Association has appealed to the Prime Minister for information, but received no response. Two representatives of the Bar Association tried to visit him at the Chisapani Military Camp, but were told by officers there that they would not be allowed to see him.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English or your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Saligram Sapkota, who was arrested by soldiers in Nepalgunj on 12 March, and whose whereabouts are now unknown;
- urging the authorities to make public where he is detained;
- expressing concern that Saligram Sapkota was reportedly tortured while in army custody at the Chisapani Army Barracks in Nepalgunj;
- asking the authorities to ensure that he is not subjected to further ill-
treatment or torture;
- urging that those responsible for torturing him are brought to justice and that he receives compensation;
- urging that he be released immediately and unconditionally, unless he is to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence;
- calling on the authorities to allow him access to his relatives and lawyers, and any medical attention he may need.
Rt Hon Sher Bahadur Deuba
Office of the Prime Minister
Telegrams: Prime Minister, Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: + 977 1 227 286
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
General Prajwal Shamsher Rana JBR
Chief of Army Staff (COAS)
Telegrams: Commander-in-Chief, Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: + 977 1 242 168
Salutation: Dear Commander-in-Chief
Padam Kumar Acharya
Ministry of Defence
Telegrams:Defence Secretary, Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: + 977 1 228 204
(Please note that it may be very difficult to get through to these fax numbers, but please keep trying. If need be contact the international operator and ask for a fax line, before sending the fax)
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Nepal accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 21 May 2002.