Nepali Maoist leaders accused of violence at UN
by Kalpit Parajuli
Maoist government leaders have decided to boycott the 22nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. They are accused of crimes committed during the civil war. In 2012, 3,521 cases of violence and summary executions were recorded.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Nepal's Maoist government has decided to skip the upcoming meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) because of too many human rights violations, cases of impunity and insecurity across the country. Many of its leaders have been blamed in connection with crimes against humanity and they fear international justice.

The 22nd Session of the UNHRC is set to begin in a week time. Nepal will not participate with a high-level delegation. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayankaji Shreshtha, Chief Secretary Lilamani Poudel and Foreign Secretary Durga Bhattarai have decided not to attend the meeting. Nepal's Ambassador to France Shankar Bairagi will instead head the Nepali delegation.  

Sources said the Nepali officials could face questions not only about post-civil war reconciliation and compensation for the victims of summary executions but also about the problems of its justice system. In fact, some months ago Maoist Prime Minister Baburan Bhattarai tried to stop an investigation into the murder of Dekendra Thapa, a journalist who was killed by Maoists in 2004 in Dahilek.

The UNHRC has collected so far about 30,000 pieces of evidence documenting serious violations of international law during Nepal's ten-year civil war between the Nepal Royal Army and Maoists.

However, the evidence suggests that violence and human rights violations continued after the end of the war.

Last year, some 3,521 cases were reported, up from 3,039 in 2011. Of these, 2,531 occurred in Nepal's Terai region alone, where regular troops and paramilitary forces have been involved in abductions, rape and murder.