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Nepal; United Nations: Report Recommends Investigation of Extrajudicial Killings

(Sept. 24, 2010) On September 23, 2010, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal released a report recommending the establishment of an independent organ to investigate the possibility of extrajudicial killings having been committed by Nepalese security forces. Jyoti Sanghera, acting head of the OHCHR bureau in Nepal, referred to “credible allegations of unlawful use of lethal force by security forces” in 39 incidents resulting in the deaths of 57 people from January 2008 to June 2010 in the Terai region of the country. In at least 16 cases, there are reports that the victims had actually been arrested before they died. (Independent Unit Needed in Nepal to Probe Possible Extrajudicial Killings – UN, UN NEWS CENTRE (Sept. 23, 2010),; OHCHR-Nepal, Investigating Allegations of Extra-Judicial Killings in the Terai (July 2010),
; Press Release, OHCHR, UN Releases Summary of Concerns and Suggests Recommendations to Address Extra Judicial Killings (Sept. 23, 2010),

Sanghera added that OHCHR is concerned “that most of these cases of extrajudicial killings have not been properly investigated. With this report, our main objective is to provide concrete recommendations to address comprehensively the problem of extrajudicial killings and a lack of due process.” (UN NEWS CENTRE, supra.)

OHCHR considers the resolution of the issue of extrajudicial killings essential to the peace process in Nepal. A ten-year civil war ended in the country in 2006. While the U.N. agency recognizes that there are crime and security issues that the government is handling, it urged Nepali authorities to act in ways consistent with international human rights standards and Nepal's own interim Constitution. (Id.) That Constitution provides that no one should be deprived of personal liberty other than in accordance with law. (Art. 12, Interim Constitution of 2007, (last visited Sept. 23, 2010).)