Nepal: EI protests against the arrest of teacher trade unionists
EI sent a message to the King of Nepal, strongly protesting against the massive arrests of human rights activists, including teachers belonging to its affiliated teacher unions in the country.
EI demands the Nepalese government to release the arrested teachers immediately and take decisive actions to stop further violations of human rights in the country.
EI also urges affiliates and partner organisations to join our protest. For more information, please refer to the letter in English dated 7 Feb. ___________________________ His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev Narayanhity Royal Palace Durbar Marg Kathmandu NEPAL Fax: +977 1 441 35 77 or +977 1 422 82 35 Brussels, 7th February 2006 Your Majesty, Education International (EI), the global union federation of teachers and other education workers, which represents over 29 million members in 166 countries, counts the Nepal National Teachers’ Association (NNTA) and the Nepal Teachers’ Association (NTA) among its affiliates.
The NNTA and the NTA also operate under the joint banner of the Teachers’ Union of Nepal (TUN). Education International is extremely concerned about the further deterioration of the political situation in Nepal, including the excessive use of force to restrict peaceful demonstrations and rallies in Kathmandu and in other parts of the country since January 19.
EI strongly condemns the massive arrests of human rights activists, including teachers, professors, journalists, lawyers, trade unionists, women rights activists and students, who did nothing more than exercise their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in demanding the establishment of full democracy in Nepal. Such arrests contravene Nepal’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Among the arrested teachers are: Mr Keshav Pd. Bhattarai, President of TUN Mr Mohan Gnwali, President of NTA Mr Babu Ram Thapa, Vice President of NNTA Mr Mahendra Sharma, C.C. member of TUN Mr Dandi Pd. Sharma, C.C. member of NNTA Ms Indira Sapkota, C.C. Member of NTA Ms Binda Sahani, Teacher EI calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all those who have been detained for the peaceful exercise of their rights over the past three weeks, including the above teachers and trade union leaders.
Furthermore, alongside many international NGOs, EI urges you to: - immediately restore all political and civil liberties in accordance with Nepal’s international obligations; - withdraw all measures passed without due process, including the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Ordinance, Social Welfare Council (First Amendment) Ordinance, National Human Rights Commission (First Amendment) Ordinance, Media Ordinance, NGO Code of Conduct and Labour Act (Second Amendment) Ordinance; - declare a cease-fire to stop further violation of human rights and to pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the armed conflict and the return to multi-party democracy. Yours sincerely, Fred van Leeuwen General Secretary cc.
Royal Nepal Embassy in Brussels, Fax: 02/344 13 61 NNTA, NTA, TUN ICFTU, WCL ILO OHCHR Nepal Mr. Michael Matthiessen, Council of the EU Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch EI Regional Office Asia Pacific