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UN rights agency urges Nepal Maoist party to end abductions, other abuses

[JURIST] The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] has urged [press release] Nepal's Maoist Communist Party (CPN-M) [BBC profile; Wikipedia backgrounder] to end alleged abductions and other abuses committed by the party. In a letter following up on a meeting last week, the OHCHR warned that any abduction of non-combatants would violate international human rights law. Some of the victims were accused of "crimes" or "offenses" before their alleged abductions by CPN-M cadres, and the OHCHR noted that "These abductions and related investigations and punishment fail to provide even minimum guarantees of due process and fair trial. As a consequence, victims of abductions are vulnerable to other violations of their human rights, particularly their right to life and physical integrity."

Recent political developments in Nepal [JURIST news archive] have led to increased prominence for the communist rebels, culminating with a landmark deal [text; JURIST report] between the government and CPN-M earlier this month on the drafting of a power-sharing constitution allowing Maoist rebels to join an interim government, though Nepalese officials said Wednesday that the drafting of the constitution had been delayed [JURIST report]. Many members of the CPN-M were arrested under Nepal's now-scrapped anti-terror law [JURIST report] but have been freed [JURIST report] by the new Nepalese government following King Gyanendra's fall from power [JURIST news archive] earlier this year. The UN News Centre has more.

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