Amnesty calls for prompt probe into police killings

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 9, 2017-

An international rights body on Wednesday demanded that Nepal launch a quick investigation into killings of three persons by police at Maleth of Saptari district on Monday.

“Nepal’s authorities must promptly investigate the security forces who opened fire on a crowd of protesters in Saptari district in the Tarai, killing three people,” Amnesty International said.

Scores were injured in the incident. 

“This was an unlawful use of lethal force. There must be a prompt, effective and impartial investigation, and those responsible must be held accountable,” said Aura Freeman, Amnesty International’s Nepal campaigner.

Police on Monday opened fire on supporters of the Samyukta Loktrantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) “for trying to obstruct” a get-out-the-vote rally organised by the main opposition CPN-UML at Maleth of Saptari district.

Police say some protesters threw stones and other explosive objects at the security forces, forcing them to open fire to stop the situation from going out of control.

“Under international law, police may not use firearms except in defence against an imminent threat of death or serious injury, and only when there is no other less extreme means to achieve this,” said the AI in a statement. “Firearms must never be used as a tactical tool for the management of demonstrations or other public assemblies, and are not an appropriate tool to contain widespread violence. Arbitrary or abusive use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials must be punished as a criminal offence.”

“These deaths are not an isolated incident. They fall within a pattern of Nepal’s security forces resorting to unlawful use of lethal force,” said Freeman. “In the lead up to local elections, when further protests are likely to occur, it is imperative that security forces refrain from using excessive force once and for all.”

Published: 09-03-2017 09:00

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