Archive ref no: NCA-18802
Document - Nepal: Stop indiscriminate bombings
AI Index: ASA 31/029/2003 (Public)
News Service No: 210
8 September 2003
Nepal: Stop indiscriminate bombings
Amnesty International today condemned the indiscriminate bombings at several locations in Kathmandu valley in which one ten-year-old schoolboy was killed and several other people injured.
The bombs targeted several government and municipal buildings including the Nepal Rastra Bank (Central Bank) in Kathmandu, the Department of Labour and Employment Promotion in Baneshwor and the Land Revenue Office in Bahktapur. No one has , as yet, claimed responsibility for the attacks but members of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) are suspected of being responsible.
"Given the bombs went off between 9 and 10:30 in the morning -- just as offices were opening -- we are concerned that these bombings were indiscriminate and likely to kill or injure civilians. We question whether sufficient measures had been taken to prevent such casualties", Amnesty International said. "We understand that at two locations, no warning was given at all, while at the other four, a warning was issued approximately ten minutes before the bombs went off. It seems it was a matter of luck that not more civilians were killed or injured."
Amnesty International also condemned the killing of a journalist and teacher,Gyanendra Khadka, in Sindhupalchowk district and the killing of four other civilians, reportedly by the Maoists, in eastern Nepal over the past week. Among the four was a woman health worker, Relimai Moktan, from Doramba, Ramechhap district, who was allegedly killed because she had passed information to the security forces about Maoist movements. Several civilians have also been abducted by the Maoists during the last ten days including a schoolteacher, Udhav Prasad Sivakoti, from Kali Nag Secondary School, in Singati, Dolakha district,. Amnesty International is appealing for their release.
Peace talks, aimed at finding a solution to the 7-year-old "people's war" launched by the CPN (Maoist), broke down on 27 August, when the CPN (Maoist) pulled out of the cease-fire agreement, in place since 29 January. The Maoists had listed a round table conference, interim government and elections to a constituent assembly to draft a new Constitution among their central demands during the peace talks.
Since the end of the cease-fire, fighting between the security forces and armed members of the CPN (Maoist) has escalated, particularly in mid and far western regions. Human rights abuses by both sides to the conflict have been reported, including during the cease-fire period.
Amnesty International has been lobbying both sides to the conflict to sign a Human Rights Accord which would give the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) a mandate to set up five regional offices to monitor human rights with technical assistance provided by the United Nations (UN).