Archive ref no: NCA-19885
PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 31/081/2005
19 October 2005
Further Information on UA 267/03 (ASA 31/033/2003, 17 September 2003) and follow-up (ASA
31/064/2005, 3 August 2005) - Torture and ill-treatment/incommunicado detention/fear for safety/
NEPAL Krishna Khatri Chhetri (known as Krishna K.C.) (m), aged 34
Krishna K.C. was released on 22 September, on the orders of the Supreme Court, on the basis that his
detention was illegal. However, police re-arrested him as he left the court, with lawyers, journalists and other
human rights defenders present.
On 18 October, the Court of Appeal in Patan, a city neighboring Kathmandu, ordered that Krishna K.C. be
held by police for an additional 15 days for further investigation into allegations that he was involved in a
murder and in the planning of an armed attack by the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) (Maoist). Krishna
K.C. has already been detained illegally for more than two years without being charged with any offence.
During this time he has allegedly been tortured and otherwise ill-treated, and he is in poor health.
He is held at the Hanuman Dhoka police station in Kathmandu, but says he is being taken elsewhere for
interrogation sessions, during which he has been kept blindfolded and handcuffed, and has been threatened.
Krishna K.C. described the torture and other ill-treatment he has experienced in an interview published by
the Nepali-language weekly Prakash on 26 September. He said that he was tortured repeatedly at various
army barracks, including Bharaibnath Gan and Yudha Bhairab Gan, and by the Ranger battalion at Chhauni
army barracks, all in Kathmandu. "I was given electric shocks and hit on the face until I bled," he told the
news weekly. "The worst torture was being kept blindfolded for two years." He claims that he was beaten
many times, and described one incident when he was kicked by members of the security forces while
someone read out newspaper reports about his case. He also said that on one occasion, when he was being
transferred from Bhairabnath Gan to Yudha Bhairab Gan, he was "taken to the jungle, put in a sack and
beaten." Sources have told Amnesty International that he has scars on his back, and that he appeared "pale
and swollen" during recent court appearances.
Krishna K.C. was first arrested without a warrant by plainclothes security forces in Kathmandu on 13
September 2003 and reportedly taken to Bhairabnath Gan army barracks, where he says he was severely
tortured. Two habeas corpus petitions — requiring that he be brought before a court or judge — were filed in
September 2003 and February 2004, but the authorities repeatedly denied that Krishna K.C. had been
In May 2004, the Supreme Court ordered Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to investigate
his case. However, the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) again denied that it was holding him and refused to
allow NHRC representatives to visit Bhairabnath Gan barracks. On 14 June 2004 the Supreme Court
ordered the Ministry of Defence to cooperate with the NHRC by making "necessary and suitable
arrangements to implement the . . . court's previous order concerning Krishna K.C." When NHRC
representatives visited Bhairabnath Gan, the security forces denied that Krishna K.C. was in their custody.
Reliable sources indicated that he was being held in the barracks at the time.
On 15 February 2005, following another order by the Supreme Court to clarify the circumstances of Krishna
K.C.’s arrest and disclose his whereabouts, the military reportedly confirmed that he had been arrested
under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Ordinance (TADO), which allows for
preventive detention for up to one year.
At the time of his arrest, Krishna K.C. was vice-president of the All Nepal National Independent Student
Union (Revolutionary), which was banned by the government because of its links with the CPN (Maoist).
This may have been the reason he was arrested.
In the course of the nine-year-long conflict between government forces and the CPN (Maoist), Amnesty
International has documented thousands of cases of arbitrary arrests, unacknowledged detentions, torture
and "disappearances" at the hands of the security forces. The human rights crisis deteriorated further
following King Gyanendra’s seizure of power on 1 February 2005. The security forces regularly fail to
produce detainees when ordered to do so by a judge, and often re-arrest prisoners immediately after they
have been freed by the courts. This threatens the authority and independence of the judiciary, and seriously
undermines the rule of law in Nepal.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Nepali, English or
your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Krishna K.C., who was re-arrested by police on 22 September 2005,
immediately after he was released on the orders of the Supreme Court;
- calling for him to be released immediately, in compliance with the Supreme Court order of 22 September;
- urging that he be treated humanely while in custody and not tortured or ill-treated;
- expressing concern over reports that Krishna K.C. has been tortured and is in poor health, and urging that
he be given immediate access to his family, lawyers and any medical attention he may require;
- calling on the government to instruct relevant law enforcement agencies to halt immediately the practice of
re-arresting those who have been released on the order of a judge, and expressing concern that the
authorities have displayed, in this case and in numerous others, open contempt for the judiciary;
- calling on the government to undertake an investigation into the "disappearance", illegal detention, alleged
torture and re-arrest of Krishna K.C., and urging that those responsible for committing or ordering these
violations of his human rights be brought to justice in fair proceedings.
Minister Dan Bahadur Shahi
Minister of Home Affairs
Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: + 977 1 4211232
Salutation: Dear Minister
General Pyar Jung Thapa
Chief of Army Staff (COAS)
Bhadrakali, Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: + 977 1 4 242 168
Salutation: Dear Commander in Chief
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 30 November 2005.