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Attack on Rights Defender Condemnable

Freedom Forum has been concerned over an attack on rights defender Yadav Bastola in Surkhet, a hilly district in the Midwestern region of Nepal on February 28, 2013.

Mr Bastola was attacked by four unidentified persons with rods over the opinions he published in the local newspapers about the human rights violations in the insurgency period.

"Two persons caught me and two others beat me heavily with rod," but somehow I managed to flee, Mr Bastola said, adding, they attacked him, saying," Are you not the human rights defender?!"

The attackers were further saying that Mr Bastola was digging out the issues of human rights violations of insurgency period to corner the Maoist parties.

With the utterance of the attackers, one can easily guess that they belonged to the Maoist parties- maybe to the ruling UCPN-Maoist, and or to its breakaway faction CPN-Maoist.

These days, the Maoist parties have been terrified over the issues of the human rights violations of insurgency period where they were directly involved.

The incident shows how hostile the Maoist parties are towards human rights, right to freedom of expression.

Freedom Forum therefore condemns the attack which not only violated the right to freedom of expression, but also made an ill-attempt to hide the human rights violations of the insurgency period. As long as such incidents continue, it would contribute to unchecked impunity and paint grim picture of the human rights situation in the country.

The concerned authorities need to apprehend attackers and mete out punishment at the earliest. Similarly, the attackers- whether are of the ruling Maoist party or of others- must respect human rights and right to freedom of expression.

Finally, Freedom Forum wishes speedy recovery of ailing Yadav.

Taranath Dahal
Freedom Forum
Thapathali, Kathmandu