UK Bar urges govt to release CK Raut

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Nov 8, 2014-

Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales has urged the government to secure the release of Madhesi rights activist CK Raut. In a letter sent to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, the international human rights arm of the Bar of England and Wales has called on the government to ensure the internationally protected right to freedom of expression. “The BHRC (therefore) respectfully requests the Government of Nepal and appropriate institutions to call to account the current actions that have led to Madhes activist CK Raut’s loss of liberty with a view to securing his release without fear of further arrests,” the letter reads.

Noting that the reasons given by the authorities for Raut’s arrest cannot be justified on legal grounds, the letter states that formulation of offence under the appropriateness of the Crime Against State and Punishment Act 2046 does not meet the required standards for clarity and precision. The letter further says that the Act which was drafted during the Panchayat autocracy was enacted to repress dissent and curb the efforts of pro-democracy. The Bar has urged the government to reconsider the appropriateness of the  Act.

Raut was arrested on September 13 from Morang under the Public Offence Act and was remanded to a six day custody by the Morang District Administration Office for investigation into his independent Madhes campaign.

On October 8, he was charged for allegedly inciting separatism in the Madhes region of Nepal, an offence that carries a sentence of life imprisonment. Opposing the arrest and charge levelled against him, Raut had staged an indefinite hunger strike from September 20 which he ended 11 days later, after he was hospitalised.

Published: 09-11-2014 08:54

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