The current pattern of disappearances in Nepal had its origins in the late 1990s, when Nepali police forces launched large-scale operations against Maoist activists and their supporters. The crackdowns occurred in the countrys western and central regions, the areas most affected by the insurgency. The number of disappearances skyrocketed during the state of emergency (November 26, 2001August 28, 2002), when the RNA was first deployed in the counterinsurgency and a number of constitutional rights were suspended. The most dramatic increase in disappearances occurred after the breakdown of the ceasefire in August 2003: according the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID), for two consecutive years, in 2003 and 2004, Nepal recorded the highest number of new cases of enforced disappearances in the world.65 From January to September 2004, the WGEID transmitted 117 cases as urgent appeals to the Nepali governmentmore than for any other country in the world during that period. 66
Since May 2000, Nepals National Human Rights Commission (the NHRC) has received reports of 1,234 cases of disappearance perpetrated by security forces.67 Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC), a prominent local human rights group that monitors the human rights situation all over the country, recorded 368 disappearances in 2003 alone, and 1,264 since the beginning of the conflict in 1996.68
During its three-week-long mission to Nepal in September-October 2004, Human Rights Watch documented 203 cases of disappearance, the earliest of which dates back to the fall of 1997,69 while the most recent occurred on September 17, 2004.70
Disappearances occur throughout the country, affecting virtually all of Nepals seventy-five districts. The frequency of disappearances has closely mirrored the development of the fighting in Nepal, with the number of disappearances tending to be highest in areas where control is most actively contested between the security forces and the Maoists. In the late 1990s the most affected districts were Rolpa, Rukum, Jajarkot, Salyan, Gorkha, and Sindhuli, but the majority of recent cases documented by local and international human rights groups occurred in the vicinity of Nepals capital, Kathmandu, and in central districts, such as Lalitpur and Dhading.71 Of the disappearances documented by the NHRC, 43 percent happened in middle Nepal, 23 percent in the mid-western part of the country, and 17 percent in the eastern part.72
Human Rights Watch has documented disappearances that occurred in fourteen districts: Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Nuwakot, Kavre, Dhading, Lamjung, Gorkha, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Tanahu, Kaski, Dang, Bardia, and Banke. Most of the documented disappearances were registered in Bardia (eighty-nine cases), Dang (twenty-nine cases), Banke (twenty-five cases) and Kathmandu (twenty-two cases). The research clearly demonstrates that the problem is not confined to any particular part of Nepal, but is prevalent throughout the country.
In conflicts throughout the world, disappearances are largely carried out by secret services, special military units, death squads, or paramilitary groups.73 This significantly complicates the process of identifying the perpetratorsboth those giving orders and those carrying them outand often creates insurmountable obstacles for establishing the whereabouts of the disappeared.
In Nepal, however, the situation is quite different. Almost all arrests and detentions that lead to disappearances are carried out by regular army units, police, or Armed Police Force (APF) personnel. The army and the APF have been deployed in counterinsurgency operations since 2001. On November 4, 2003, after the collapse of peace talks and the Maoists withdrawal from the ceasefire, the government declared the formation of the so-called Unified Command, consisting of the army, APF, police, and the National Investigation Department, under the operational command of the army.74
The overwhelming majority of witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch unhesitatingly identified perpetrators as army men, police, APF, or a joint group of army and police. In many cases the witnesses indicated that the security personnel wore uniforms, used military vehicles, and sometimes presented their official security forces identification.
Although in some cases soldiers and policemen were dressed in civilian clothes, or even disguised themselves as Maoists in an attempt to identify Maoist sympathizers in villages, they generally failed to deceive the villagers into mistaking their identity. For example, on April 11, 2002, a large group of RNA soldiers carried out a sweep in Manau VDC-8 in Bardia (described below).75 They initially tried to fool some of the villagers into thinking they were Maoists, asking the villagers to join them in blowing up a local bridge.76The RNA arrested eight people from the village, none of whom were seen again.77
In a number of cases, the victims families knew exactly which army barracks, camp, or post a unit was coming from, and at times could even identify the soldiers or officers by name. For example, on August 17, 2002, RNA soldiers arrested twenty-six-year-old teacher Jilla Sandesh Tharu, along with two other villagers from Magaragadi, Magaragadi VDC-9 in Bardia. But a relative of Tharu recognized one of the officers from a nearby Rambhapur army postJamdar Mahendra Thapaamong the soldiers.78 The relatives tried to use this information to locate the three disappeared men, but their efforts proved futile, and the three men remain missing.79
Since at present Maoist forces control much of Nepals countryside, security forces typically operate out of heavily fortified positions at district headquarters, carrying out raids on villages from there. This makes it easier to determine which units are carrying out large-scale sweeps or targeted search and seizure operations in a given village. Moreover, as discussed below, the families of individuals taken into custody often receive credible information regarding their relatives detention in specific army barracks, which also helps to establish the identity of the perpetrators.
Given the relative ease in identifying individual perpetrators, as well as the army and police units routinely involved in violations, few obstacles stand in the way of authorities locating and punishing those responsible for abuses. Thus far, however, the authorities have chosen to overlook the overwhelming evidence of security force involvement in disappearances.
Among the victims of disappearances in Nepal are people of various occupations, including farmers, workers, students, teachers, journalists, lawyers, shopkeepers, housewives, and others. In cases documented by Human Rights Watch, twenty-one of the disappeared were women. The majority was young people between the ages of twenty and thirty-five, and twenty-five victims were minors under the age of eighteen.
Of the 203 disappearances documented by Human Rights Watch, twenty-three individuals were allegedly active members of CPN-M, and another seventeen were said to belong to groups affiliated with CPN-M, such as the All-Nepal Student Union (Revolutionary), the Laborers Union (Maoist), or the All-Nepal Womens Organization Revolutionary. Eight persons were former members of CPN-M who, according to their relatives, had discontinued their party membership and had returned to civilian life prior to their arrest.
Significantly, however, in over one-third of the cases documented by Human Rights Watch, the disappeared appear never to have been involved with any aspect of the Maoist movement and, according to their relatives, were either not active politically or members of non-Maoist political parties, such as the Nepali Congress or the CPN (UML).80
In a number of cases people were detained because of their personal friendship or family connection with a person known to be a Maoist. Thus, nineteen-year-old student Dilip Chandra Hadkhale, a university student and an active member of the Nepali Congress Party, was apparently disappeared by the RNA solely because of his personal friendship with a CPN-M activist whom the army had killed earlier. The RNA first detained Hadkhale in September 2003, after which he was released as the result of a direct intervention by the university administration. While he was in custody, Hadkhale was questioned about his CPN-M friend and severely beaten. On January 21, 2004, Hadkhale was apparently rearrested and subsequently disappeared.81 Another student, sixteen-year-old Bir Bahadur Thapa from Dang, disappeared after being arrested at home by a group of RNA soldiers on April 28, 2002. His family is adamant that Thapa was not involved in politics and believes that he was disappeared because of his father, who is active in the political structures of CPN-M.82
In other cases security forces arrested and disappeared villagers who had done nothing more than provide food and shelter to Maoists traveling through their villages.83 These villagers are caught in a nearly impossible position: refusing to supply food and shelter to Maoists can lead to retribution from the Maoists, but offering it can lead to attacks by government forces.
In almost all cases documented by Human Rights Watch, people who had disappeared were last seen by their relatives or other witnesses in the custody of governmental security forces. Such forces had detained them during large-scale operations or targeted raids, arrested them at checkpoints, or had simply taken them away from their places of work or study.
Disappearances after large-scale operations
Large-scale operationssome of them prompted by Maoist attacks in a given area and some having no apparent causeoften result in arbitrary arrests and disappearances.
Thus, at least sixteen people disappeared after being arrested by RNA and APF forces in the course of a large-scale operation on October 20-22, 2002, in Rajapur, Bardia. The security forces based at the Manpur Tapara temporary army camp launched the arrest spree in response to Maoist destruction of many government offices in the months before the operation. The Maoists had also given an ultimatum to the family members of security personnel to coerce their relatives to resign from the security forces or leave Rajapur.
On the night of October 20, 2002, the soldiers arrested twenty-six-year-old farmer Fula Ram Tharu,84 seventeen-year-old student Ram Karan Tharu,85 and thirty-year-old farmer Runchya Tharu86 from Jamunabachi village, Manpur Tapara VDC-8. The same night, a combined group of uniformed RNA soldiers and APF officers also detained thirty-year-old farmer Radheshyam Tharu,87 and thirty-three-year-old Raj Kumar Tharu88 from a nearby Vikrampur village. Also on October 20, a combined force of RNA and APF soldiers carried out arrests in Badalpur VDC-9, detaining four personstwenty-six-year-old mill worker Basantu Tharu,89 twenty-year-old Lautan Tharu, who had returned from working in India just seven days before,90 twenty-year-old student Bagale Tharu,91 and twenty-one-year-old farmer Pharek Tharu.92
RNA soldiers further arrested four people from Harinagar village, Khairi Chandanpur VDC-8, during the day on October 21, 2002: forty-five-year-old Sunawa Chowdhury,93 twenty-four-year-old Bagi Ram Chowdhury,94 nineteen-year-old student Kessar Kumar Chowdhury,95 and thirty-eight-year-old medical shop owner Pati Ram Chowdhury.96 The same day RNA soldiers arrested the twenty-eight-year-old owner of a small shop, Mangru Chowdhury,97 and seventeen-year-old student Gopal Chowdhury98 in Chapti village, Badalpur VDC-4.
On the last day of the operation, October 22, RNA soldiers came to Pahadipur village, Badalpur VDC-3, and detained forty-one-year-old farmer and local-level CPN-M activist Moti Lal Tharu.99
According to the families, aside from Moti Lal Tharu, none of the detainees was a member of CPN-M. Testimony from several witnesses indicates that the disappeared detainees were taken to the Manpur Tapara Secondary School, which the RNA had occupied as their Manpur Tapara temporary army camp. The relatives went daily to the school and saw the blindfolded detainees held in one of the schools rooms. Many recognized their relatives from the clothes they were wearing at the time of arrest. After the Manpur Tapara temporary camp was dismantled on October 25, the sixteen detainees were never seen again.
Another ten detainees disappeared after two RNA operations carried out in February and April 2002. The operations were in response to the killing of a large landowner in Nauranga village in Manau VDC-8, Rajapur, Bardia in February 2002. RNA soldiers detained four people from the area on February 25, 2002, and another eight on April 11. Two detainees from the first group were released six days later, but twenty-two-year-old Nirmal Chowdhury100 and thirty-eight-year-old Jagat Prasad Chowdhury101 disappeared after being last seen by the released detainees in the Thakurdwara army barracks. The eight persons detained in Aprilthirty-year-old Prem Bahadur Tharu,102 seventeen-year-old Dhani Ram and his seventeen-year-old brother Sani Ram Tharu,103 twenty-year-old Radhu Lal Chowdhury,104 twenty-one-year-old Mohan Chowdhury,105 sixteen-year-old Lauti Tharu,106 nineteen-year-old Kamali Tharu,107 and Chillu Tharu (age unknown)have not been seen since the arrest. Various security and government officials based in Tikapur Kailili district, Guleria, Thakurdwara, and Rajapur, have denied having any knowledge of the arrests.108
Similarly, six people disappeared after each of the RNA operations in Dang district in April and September 2002. On April 19, 2002, a large contingent of uniformed RNA soldiers arrived at the Katberawa village, Bela VDC, supported by military helicopters. The villagers believe the operation may have been linked to a Maoist attack on the nearby Lamahi army barracks four months earlier. One person in the village, twenty-seven-year-old Chatak Bahadur Chowdhury, was killed by the soldiers as he was repairing a neighbors roof. The soldiers rounded up about fifty men from the area and took them to the nearby river, where they were interrogated. Six of them never came back: twenty-five-year-old Dani Ram Chowdhury,109 twenty-eight-year-old Kedarnath Chowdhury, thirty-two-year-old Bhim Bhahadur Chowdhury,110 sixteen-year-old Hari Lal Chowdhury, his uncle Udaya Chowdhury,111 and fifty-year-old Khim Bahadur Pun112 disappeared without a trace. On several occasions relatives were told by officials that the men were killed in an encounter, but there has been no official confirmation of such an event. The men remain missing after last being seen alive in RNA custody.113
On September 6, 2002, RNA soldiers came to the village of Paharwa, Duduwa VDC, and arrested several men apparently at random, taking them to a riverbank where the villagers were taking part in the Guruain festival. The soldiers then blindfolded and tied the hands of thirteen of the captives, who were taken away. Several of the men were later released. However, one of the detained men, Shree Harsa Subedi, was found dead that night near the village, while six detaineesforty-one-year-old Sohan Lal Chowdhury,114 twenty-five-year-old Som Raj Chowdhury,115 thirty-seven-year-old Kuira Chowdhury,116 thirty-three-year-old Chanak Lal Chowdhury,117 twenty-three-year-old Jagi Chowdhury,118 and seventeen-year-old Khushi Ram Chowdhury119disappeared. The families of those detained told Human Rights Watch that the men were not involved with CPN-M in any way.
According to a released detainee, all of the arrested men were taken to the Tulsipur army barracks, where the soldiers photographed and then beat them severely with their fists, boots, and bamboo sticks. Four days after the arrest, the released detainee was transferred to the Ghorahi district police post and lost touch with the others.120 In response to inquiries by the families and the VDC chairman, the army denied having the men in custody. Nothing has been heard about them since they were last seen alive at the Tulsipur army barracks.
Other major operations documented by Human Rights Watch include a May 23, 2002, raid in the village of Machaghar, Deudakala VDC-3, Bardia district, which resulted in the disappearance of five men;121 an August 23, 2001 operation in Pipal Tandi, Motipur VDC in Bardia, in which soldiers arrested a total of five persons from the village who were never seen again;122 the arrests of nine people in Pokhara area on November 4-10, 2003;123 and others, as described in the Appendix to this report.
Disappearances after targeted raids
In addition to these large-scale operations, Nepali security forces have conducted numerous targeted raids, arresting hundreds of individuals in a seemingly arbitrary manner. This has happened across the countryat homes, on roads, and at places of work or study. Many of those arrested have never been seen again.
In some cases the security forces have been accompanied during the arrests by witnesses, such as neighbors or co-workers of the detainee, or persons completely unknown to them, who were supposedly present to identify the suspect or testify to his affiliation with the Maoists. Security officials also often lure people away by saying they only want to talk to them, promising the detainees relatives they will return soon.
For example, at around 11 p.m. on December 18, 2003, five RNA soldiers in civilian clothing came to the house of thirty-five-year-old farmer Rajendra Thapa in Imadol-9, Lalitpur district. A relative of Thapa who was accompanying the army called him out of the house to see some friends. Thapa followed him but did not return. A day later the relative informed the family that Thapa had been taken to the Bhairabnath Gulm (Maharajgunj) army barracks for inquiry and would be released in a few days. Thapa has not been seen or heard from since then, although his relatives have petitioned numerous authorities and human rights organizations. The family went to the Bhairabnath Gulm and Rajdal army barracks, but the army denied having Thapa in its custody.124
In another case, five or six RNA soldiers in civilian dress came to Krishna Secondary School in Chhaimale, Kathmandu, at 11:30 a.m. on March 1, 2004. The soldiers approached the schools headmaster, identified themselves as RNA soldiers, and asked to see seventeen-year-old student Parlad Waiba. After Waiba was brought to the headmasters office, the soldiers took Waiba away for what they indicated would be ten minutes of questioning, collected his books from the class room, and departed with Waiba. He has not been seen since then. Faculty and students recognized the soldiers as belonging to the nearby Farping army camp, but when a relative went to the camp, the guards at the gate told him not to worry, that Waiba was being provided with food and shelter and was fine. The family has received no other information. 125
In the majority of cases documented by Human Rights Watch, security personnel did not identify themselves, gave no reasons for the arrest, and gave relatives no indication of where a detainee was being taken. Furthermore, the witnesses often stated that RNA or other forces carrying out the arrests broke into homes, severely beat and verbally abused detainees before taking them away, and kept the relatives at gunpoint, threatening to kill them should they attempt to follow the detainee.
A relative of thirty-two-year-old Tanka Sharma, who was arrested by RNA soldiers on January 22, 2002, in Dulegaunda VDC ward 7, Kaski district, and subsequently disappeared, described Sharmas arrest as follows:
They came inside and started beating him with bamboo sticks. His head was bleeding. They pushed him out of the house, tied his hands behind his back and blindfolded him. They were cursing him, accusing him of destroying the police post.126
Sharma was seen by other detainees at the Fulbari army barracks, and was then reportedly seen in the company of soldiers, presumably being used to point out suspected CPN-M members during army patrols. Later, the family was directed to the Bijayapur army barracks in Kaski district, where officials told them on numerous occasions that Sharma was out with the army, and refused to let them see him. The army battalion stationed at the Bijayapur army barracks was later transferred to Gorkha district, and when the family inquired there, the army denied having any knowledge of the case.127
When RNA soldiers were arresting forty-eight-year-old CPN-UML member Jangu Tharu at his home in Sonpur in Magragadi VDC-5, in Bardia, on August 11, 2002, his eighty-five-year-old mother attempted to ask the soldiers where they were taking her son. She told Human Rights Watch:
I came out of the house, asked them where they were taking him, and begged them not to take my son away. But they pointed a gun at me and said they would shoot me if I did not go back into the house.128
Jangu Tharu was taken away with three other men from the village, none of whom have been seen since his arrest, despite the families efforts at finding the detainees.129
In one-third of the cases documented by Human Rights Watch, the families had knowledge of where their relatives were held at some point after being detained. Some received a letter or a phone call from the detainees, others were notified by released detainees who saw their relatives in detention, and some managed to get information through contacts within the military or police. Moreover, a number of detainees were initially kept in an acknowledged place of detention where their relatives visited them regularly, and were only afterward disappeared.
For example, after twenty-two-year-old farmer Tribhuwan Giri was arrested by the police on December 18, 2001, in Khohalpur, Pipalchautara in Bardia, his family visited him regularly, first at the Guleria police office where Giri was kept for over two months, and then in the Guleria prison, where he was transferred on February 13, 2002. Giri told his family that he was accused of being a Maoist, but assured them that he was innocent and would come home soon. The family saw him last on May 2, 2002; when they came to the prison on May 7, prison officials said that Giri was not there anymore and showed them a document indicating that nine people, including Giri, were released on May 2. A detainee released from the prison later told the family that on May 2 all nine had been taken from the prison in an RNA truck. Prison officials told the family that Giri might have been taken for interrogation to the Guleria district police office, but the police confirmed that Giri had been taken from prison by the army, although they did not know where exactly he was being held. The family has not received any information about Giri since.130
A relative of twenty-nine-year-old carpenterSom Bahadur Bishwokarmawas also able to visit him in detention. Bishwokarma was arrested by the RNA on July 7, 2002, while visiting his aunt in Gandaki regional hospital in Pokhara. He was taken to the Fulbari army barracks and for the first three months a relative was allowed to visit him there. Soon after, he disappeared. His relative told Human Rights Watch:
I came to see him, and the army at the barracks told me he had been transferred to jail, but did not say which one. I searched every jail in the area, but could not find him. Then I inquired at the district police office in Pokhara, and the police said they had received his case, and were expecting him to be brought there. They told me he would come home soon, but he never did. Two months ago [in July 2004] INSEC inquired at the barracks again, and they said he was still alive, but they would not tell them where he was.131
Disappearances after re-arrest
The army has also become notorious for re-arresting the detainees released after investigation by the police or on the order of a judge. Such cases were frequently reported in the Nepali media, as well as in the urgent appeals of Amnesty International and the Asian Human Rights Commission.132 Human Rights Watch has also documented several cases where detainees disappeared after allegedly being released from detention. The relatives believe they were arrested again by the army.
Twenty-year-old Gita Ghartimagar was arrested together with twenty-five-year-old Nanda Bahadur K.C. on February 22, 2002, in Chandanpur, Gadawa VDC-9, in Dang district. She was first taken to Lamahi APF barracks, and then to Tulsipur prison, where a relative visited her several times. Three months after the arrest and a few days after the relatives last visit to the prison, local newspaper Naya Yugbodh reported the release of twenty-one detainees, including Gita Ghartimagar and Nanda Bahadur K.C., but neither detainee returned home. Officials at the Tulsipur prison told K.C.s family that they had transferred the detainees to the district police headquarters, but staff at the headquarters told the family they had no knowledge of the detainees. A year later the prison authorities told the ICRC, which was inquiring on behalf of Ghartimagars family, that they had handed her over to municipal authorities. Ghartimagars family believes the detainees were rearrested by security forces after their release.133
In a small number of cases, persons who had disappeared for several months after the security forces had taken them into custody have suddenly reappeared in detention. In one such case, twenty-eight-year-old journalist Maheshower Pahadi and his friend, forty-seven-year-old Gyan Bahadur Koirala, were arrested on January 2, 2004, in Liwangkhalek VDC, Kaski district, and taken to the Fulbari army barracks. Four days later, Pahadi and Koirala were seen wearing army uniforms and being led by RNA soldiers, after which relatives of Pahadi were able to meet with him briefly. Following that episode, the family heard no news for four months. They continued to write to the Chief District Officers office and to various army barracks for information without result. After four months, the family heard on a local radio broadcast that the men were transferred to Kaski prison, and that they were being detained under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Control and Punishment) Act (TADA), the successor to TADO. Since then, the family has been able to visit the detainees regularly.134
Such cases support the conclusion that most of the disappeared are being held incommunicado in army detention for months, and that the armys denials of any knowledge of their whereabouts cannot be taken at face value. It is equally likely that a significant number of the disappeared have been summarily executed in government custody, as documented later in this report.
Places of detention
Testimonies of relatives of the disappeared and of detainees released from custody suggest that while a small number of detainees are initially taken to police stations and then transferred to prisons, the overwhelming majority are held incommunicado in unofficial places of detention, such as army and APF barracks and camps across Nepal. Although the army is not legally authorized, as explained below, to keep persons in detention, the practice has been prevalent throughout the country since the deployment of the RNA and APF in the conflict.
Human Rights Watch identified numerous places of detention where large numbers of detainees are reportedly being held. The facilities most frequently mentioned by witnesses as the places where their relatives had been held at some point before disappearing are presented in the table below. The names of the disappeared are listed next to a given place of detention in cases where they had been visited in the facility by their relatives, seen there by other detainees or NHRC representatives, or notified their familiesby phone, letters, or through messengersof their whereabouts. Some of these detainees may have been executed in custody or transferred later to another facility, yet these are the places (unless otherwise indicated) where they were last seen or reported to have been alive.
As mentioned above, many of the sixteen people who disappeared as a result of the RNA and APF operation in the Rajapur area of Bardia RNA on October 20-22, 2002, were last seen in detention in the Manpur Tapara temporary army camp, which was later dismantled.
Other places where the detainees have been held in custody before their disappearance include Balazu police station and Balazu army camp (Kathmandu), Shorakutte police station (Kathmandu), Farping army camp (Kathmandu), Bijayapur army barracks (Kaski), Pokhara police post (Kaski), Bharatpur police post (Chitwan), Rajdal army barracks (Lalitpur), Suryabinayak army barracks in Bhaktapur (Kavre), Mahedra Gand army barracks (Gorkha), Choprak police station (Gorkha), Gorkha district police headquarters (Gorkha), Nawalparasi army barracks (Nawalparasi), Bhansar police post (Tanahu), Rajpur area police post (Dang), Tulsipur prison (Dang), Ghorahi regional police station (Dang), Ghorahi army barracks (Dang), Guleria district police office and Guleria prison (Bardia), Kohalpur army barracks and Kohalpur police post (Banke), and Rajha Airport Army Barracks (Banke).
The fact that so many different detention facilities have been directly implicated in disappearances demonstrates that the problem of disappearances in Nepal is not caused by a few rogue soldiers and officers, but is rather a nationwide epidemic and an institutional problem.
While enforced disappearances themselves constitute an egregious violation of human rights, they also greatly increase the risk of extrajudicial killings, torture, and ill-treatment of detainees in custody.149 The practice of holding people incommunicado in unacknowledged detention in unofficial facilities, maintaining no records of arrest and detention, and refusing to grant access to detainees by relatives and lawyers, creates ample opportunity for further abuses.
Many of the disappeared may have been killed in custody. Nepali security forces have been implicated in thousands of summary and extrajudicial executions; according to the National Human Rights Commission, they have been responsible for over 2,000 extrajudicial killings since 2001, when the RNA and APF were deployed in counterinsurgency operations.150 INSEC reported that in 2003, 166 people were killed by [the] State after arrest.151 An earlier Human Rights Watch report documented numerous unlawful killings both by the Maoists and government forces.152
During its latest visit to Nepal, Human Rights Watch obtained convincing evidence of extrajudicial killings of captured Maoists and civilians. Twenty-nine of the families interviewed for this report believe their disappeared relatives were killed after being taken into custody by security forces. Reports of the killings came from eyewitnesses to executions, media stories, human rights and humanitarian organizations, or unofficial contacts in the military. However, in only one of the cases was the body returned to the family. In five other cases, the families believe their relatives were killed in custody, although they were unable to cite a basis for their suspicion.
Some people were executed by security forces almost immediately after arrest. Thus, on the night of October 2, 2002, about five hundred RNA troops, some uniformed and some in civilian clothing, surrounded the village of Madaha in Motipur VDC-5 in Bardia. At around 1 a.m., a group of soldiers came to the parental home of thirty-four-year-old Khagga Tharu and his twenty-three-year-old brother Kala Ram Tharu. The soldiers entered the house and started beating and yelling at Khagga. They then ordered him to put his clothes on and brought him to a nearby field. His elderly relatives told Human Rights Watch:
Shortly after they left, we heard two gunshots from across the field, and wanted to go, but other soldiers were still in the house and they did not let us. They had their flashlights and guns pointed at us. The soldiers [that left with Khagga] then came back and took a wooden bed from our house Next morning we went to the field and found Khaggas small sleeping veil that he took with him, all covered in blood.153
The soldiers brought Khaggas body back to the village, although his relatives were not allowed to see it. That night, they arrested four other men, including Kala Ram Tharu, and ordered them to carry Khaggas body away from the village on the wooden bed they had taken from his house. The body of Khagga Tharu was never returned to his family, while three of the detaineesKala Ram Tharu, forty-nine-year-old Badhu Tharu, and twenty-six-year-old Babu Ram Tharuhave not been seen since that night. The fourth detainee was released a week after the arrest and told the families that after the four men brought Khagga Tharus body to a military van parked in a neighboring village, they were blindfolded and brought to the Rambhapur army post. He was transferred to the Chisapani army barracks together with the other men, and reported to the families that the missing men were still being detained at Chisapani Army Barracks at the time of his release.154 The families efforts to locate them have proven futile.155
In a number of cases, according to witnesses, soldiers provoked the detainees to attempt an escape during the arresta common tactic used by RNA soldiers, who then shoot the detainee and claim he was trying to run away. A released detainee who was arrested together with five other men, who subsequently disappeared156 during the May 23, 2002, RNA operation in the village of Machaghar, Deudakala VDC-3, Bardia, told Human Rights Watch:
The soldiers first took us to a nursery in the villagethere they interrogated and beat us with their boots Then they walked us to a riverbank, and said, OK, now run away. We told them: If we run away, youll shoot us, and we stayed.157
The villagers who saw sixteen-year-old Bir Bahadur Thapa (see above) as he was taken away by RNA soldiers later told the family that the soldiers had ordered Thapa to run away, but that he refused, and was then blindfolded and handcuffed.158
Other testimonies confirm that some of the disappeared were executed by RNA in unofficial places of detention, such as army barracks. Thirty-five-year-old Sita Ram Tharu, from Magarghadi VDC-4, Bardia district, was detained by RNA soldiers who arrived in his village at about 4 p.m. on December 16, 2001 (Poush 1, 2058). The soldiers also arrested three other villagers, including two relatives of Tharu, all of whom were later released. One of the released detainees told Human Rights Watch that they had all been taken to the Chisapani army barracks, where she witnessed what appears to have been the execution of her relative Sita Ram Tharu:
I was there when they killed him. They interrogated him for some time. Then, after a while, he was taken away by the soldiers, into the forest. His hands were tied and he was blindfolded. Three or four minutes after they took him into the forest, I heard two gunshots. Then the same soldiers came back to us and took us into a room.159
The case of Sita Ram Tharu, whose execution remains unconfirmed by the government to date and whose body was never handed over to his family, provides strong evidence that executions of detained people have taken place at the Chisapani army barracks, the very location where a large number of persons have disappeared, and raises the possibility that many other disappeared persons were similarly killed.
On a number of occasions, the Unified Command issued statements indicating that certain individualsinvariably categorized as Maoistswere killed in encounters with security forces, despite strong evidence suggesting that the persons had been previously detained and disappeared in governmental custody. The disappearance and execution of four persons in Gorkha district in late 2002 illustrates this tactic.
On December 4, 2002, several police officers and RNA soldiers in civilian dress came to the home of twenty-one-year-old student Niru Pokhrel in Pritihivi Narayan Municipality of Gorkha, where they showed their security force identification cards. They said they wanted to take Pokhrel in for questioning, but that they would return her the next morning. Pokhrel was never seen again; however, relatives brought Pokhrel clean clothes several times over the next few weeks at the District Police Headquarters in Gorkha, and were given her dirty clothes for washing, strongly suggesting that Pokhrel was alive and for a time was kept at the district police headquarters.160
The next day, December 5, 2002, a group of RNA soldiers came to the Choprak VDC, Gorkha home of Keshar Bahadur Nepali, a fifty-year-old teacher who had been appointed head of the local village committee of the Maoists Peoples Government. Nepali was arrested from his home and taken to the Lakeside army camp, where he was used by the RNA to identify other CPN-M members over the following days.161
A high school teacher who had been in detention at the Gorkha district police office from December 28, 2002 to January 17, 2003, confirmed to Human Rights Watch that he had seen Niru Pokhrel and nineteen-year-old Durga Pokhrel, both of whom had been his students, in detention there. He also heard the voice of Keshar Bahadur Nepali, who was from his home village, at the police station. Other detainees also pointed out to him a fourth detainee, forty-seven-year-old Khadanada Pande.162
About one month after the arrest, local radio stations and newspapers carried a government announcement that Pokhrel and Nepali, together with Durga Pokhrel, a nineteen-year-old student from Choprak VDC-6 in Gorkha district, and Khadanada Pande, identified as a CPN-M activist, had been killed in an encounter with security forces.163 Given the fact that at least two of the victims were known to have been in detention prior to the killings, the encounter appears to have been staged, and a more credible conclusion is that the four were killed while in police custody. Because the Nepali government has never formally acknowledged the killings or handed over the bodies to the relatives, the four remain disappeared to date.
The killing of these four persons in detention is not the only suspected execution case in Gorkha. According to local human rights activists, on January 2, 2003, just five days later, Nepali security forces executed another five detained Maoists suspects: twenty-one-year-old Bishnu Marahatta; twenty-two-year-old Kalika Poudel; twenty-two-year-old Purna Chandra Acharya; nineteen-year-old Kumar Thapa; and twenty-year-old Nabin Shirestha. The disappearance of all nine persons remains unresolved, and the substantiated allegations that they were all killed in custody have not been investigated by the authorities.164
Human Rights Watch has also received unexpectedly candid confessions regarding custodial killings from several soldiers and a policeman interviewed at checkpoints in Bardia district. When Human Rights Watch researchers asked a young soldier at one of the checkpoints what they generally did with the Maoists they captured, he bluntly responded: We kill them.
In a separate interview with a policeman and an RNA soldier, the policeman said that they interrogate the detained Maoists and, when asked what happened afterwards, also said: We kill them. The soldier corrected him, saying No, we take them to jail, but the policeman continued: Yes, we take them to jail and then we kill their asses.165
Despite Nepals obligations under international law, and the explicit prohibition of torture in the Nepali Constitution, torture and ill-treatment in custody are prevalent throughout the country.166 Based on a nation-wide survey conducted by Nepals Center for Victims of Torture (CVICT), the National Human Rights Commission reported that up to 70 percent of persons arrested by state authorities are likely to be tortured.167 The NHRC observed that most of the persons who are disappeared go through extreme torture in captivity.168
Human Rights Watch interviews with individuals who were released after the government denied holding them in custody, as well as with families who visited their relatives in detention before their disappearance, consistently show the prevalence of ill-treatment and torture in custody. Many individuals who subsequently disappeared were beaten during arrest, and in twenty-three cases evidence suggests that the persons were subjected to severe beatings or other forms of torture while in detention. In a majority of the cases where relatives were able to obtain information about the disappeared" person's treatment in custody, beatings and torture were reported.
For example, when relatives visited thirty-eight-year-old Satya Narayan Prajapati in detention in Suryabinayak army barracks in Bhaktapur, Kavre, he told them he had been severely tortured and complained of two broken teeth and pain in his kidneys. Prajapati, a Kathmandu-based lawyer and an activist in the CPN-M front organization, United Peoples Front party, was arrested by security forces in Sangachowk, Kavre district, on April 26, 2002. The relatives saw him in detention a month after his arrest, after which he disappeared. The soldiers at Suryabinayak army barracks told the family Prajapati had been transferred to Kathmandu, while at the Balazu army camp in Kathmandu the family was told that he had been detained there briefly but was then transferred again. Since then, the family has been unable to obtain any information of his whereabouts.169
Thirty-four-year-old Arjun Ojha disappeared after being arrested on March 25, 2004, by two plainclothes RNA soldiers while he was buying groceries in the Kalimati market of Kathmandu. A second person who was arrested with Ojha170 and released three months later told the family that while they were held together at Chaunni army barracks for thirty days, Ojha was severely beaten by RNA soldiers and suffered injuries to his chest. In September 2004 Ojha managed to speak with his family in a one-minute phone call, but was unable to state where he was being kept.171
Twenty-eight-year-old journalist Maheshower Pahadi also told his family that he had been severely tortured in army custody, and that one of his fingers had been broken (see case description above).172
In at least one case, involving a fourteen-year-old boy, the torture inflicted by RNA soldiers resulted in death. Fourteen-year-old Narda Ram Gharti was arrested from Jammunitole village, Kohalpur VDC-6, Banke district, together with thirteen other men by police officers on June 10, 2002 (Jestha 27, 2059). The detainees were transferred to Chisapani Army Barracks, where they were regularly beaten with heavy bamboo canes during interrogation. After eleven days of beatings, fellow detainees saw Narda Ram Gharti close to death and swollen all over his body. He died from his injuries soon thereafter (see case description in Appendix).
Witness testimonies strongly suggest that the detainees are often kept blindfolded throughout the entire time of their detention. In one such case, a released detainee who was held in unacknowledged detention for seven months told Human Rights Watch that after his arrest on October 1, 2003, he spent three months in the Bhairabnath Gulm (Maharajgunj) army barracks in Kathmandu, and another four months in the Bahini Bareni army barracks in Dhading. He was blindfolded throughout that time, and only discovered his place of detention from other detainees.173
 United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Sixtieth session, Item 11 (b) of the provisional agenda: Civil and Political Rights, Including the Questions of: Disappearances and Summary Executions, Question of enforced or involuntary disappearances, Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, January 21, 2004, E/CN.4/2004/58.
 Gustavo Capdevila, Human Rights: Society's Debt to the Disappeared, All Africa, October 11, 2004.
 The figure cited in: The Himalayan Times, December 12, 2004.
 Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC), Human Rights Yearbook 2004, (Kathmandu: INSEC, 2004), 10.
 See Appendix, the disappearance of Lila Khannal.
 See Appendix, the disappearance of Prakash Tharu.
 Amnesty International, Nepal: Escalating Disappearances Amid a Culture of Impunity, August 30, 2004, AI Index: ASA 31/155/2004.
 Nepals National Human Rights Commission, Number of Disappearance & Abduction Cases Registered at NHRC. A copy of the document is on file with Human Rights Watch. In terms of Nepals administrative division, the middle region consists of three administrative zones (Janakpur, Bagmati, and Narayani), which include nineteen districts (Dolkha, Ramechap, Sindhuli, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Rasuwa, Dhading, Kathmandu, Nuwakot, Sindhupalchowk, Kavrepalanchowk, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Chitwan, Makawanpur, Parsa, Bara, and Rautahat). The mid-western area consists of three zones (Rapti, Bheri, and Karnali) which include fifteen districts (Rukum, Rolpa, Salyan, Pyuthan, Dang, Dailekh, Banke, Bardia, Surkhet, Dolpa, Humla, Jumla, Kalikot, and Mugu). The eastern region consists of three zones (Mechi, Koshi, and Sagarmatha) which include sixteen districts (Taplejung, Panchthar, Iilam, Jhapa, Sankhuwashava, Terhathum, Dhankuta, Bhojpur, Morang, Sunsari, Solukhumbu, Okhaldhunga, Khotang, Udayapur, Saptari, and Siraha).
 For a detailed analysis of patterns of disappearances in other countries see, e.g., Human Rights Watch, Disappeared in Guatemela: The Case of Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, A Human Rights Watch Report, Vol. 7, No. 1, March 1995; Human Rights Watch, Time for Reckoning: Enforced Disappearances and Abductions in Algeria, A Human Rights Watch Report, Vol. 15, No. 2(E), February 2003; Human Rights Watch, Last Seen: Continued Disappearances in Chechnya, A Human Rights Watch Report, Vol. 14, No. 3(D), April 2002; Americas Watch (now Human Rights Watch/Americas), El Salvadors Decade of Terror (New Haven and London: Yale University Press and Human Rights Watch Books, 1991); Human Rights Watch, State of War: Political Violence and Counterinsurgency in Colombia, A Human Rights Watch Report, December 1993; Amnesty International, Disappearances in Guatemala under the Government of General Oscar Humberto Mejia Victores (August 1983-January 1985), AI Index: AMR 34/01/85, March 1985; Amnesty International. Getting Away with Murder: Political Killings and Disappearances in the 1990s (London: AI Publications, 1993); Amnesty International, Sri Lanka: Extrajudicial executions, disappearances, and torture, 1987 to 1990 (London: AI Publications, 1990); CONADEP, Nunca Mas: A Report by Argentinas Commission on Disappeared People (London: Faber and Faber, 1986); Iain Guest, Behind the Disappearances: Argentinas Dirty War Against Human Rights and the United Nations (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990).
 Statement by Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa at the press conference regarding Future Plan, Strategies and Programs of His Majestys Government (unofficial translation), November 4, 2003 [online], http://www.mofa.gov.np/pmpressnov4.htm (retrieved November 27, 2004). The decision was justified by the need for effective coordination among the security forces in the face of the rapid escalation of fighting after the August collapse of the ceasefire.
 The RNA raid was likely in response to the Maoist killing of Amrit Man Shreshtra, a large landowner in the village, about two months before the sweep. According to the witnesses, as described in more detail in the Appendix of this report, relatives of the late Amrit Man accompanied the RNA soldiers, pointing out people to arrest.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Prem Bahadur Tharu, Bardia, September 28, 2004; Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Dhani Ram and Sani Ram Tharu, Bardia, October 1, 2004; Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Radhu Lal Chowdhury, Bardia, October 1, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearances of Prem Bahadur Tharu, Dhani Ram and Sani Ram Tharu, and Radhu Lal Chowdhury. Hereinafter the names of witness are on file with Human Rights Watch. They are being withheld to protect the witnesses safety.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Mohan Chowdhury, Bardia, October 1, 2004; Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Lauti Tharu, Bardia, September 28, 2004; Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Kamali Tharu, Bardia, September 28, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearances of Mohan Chowdhury, Lauti Tharu and Kamali Tharu.
 Jamdar is a low-ranking officer in the Royal Nepalese Army.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Jilla Sandesh Tharu, Bardia, September 29, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearances of Jilla Sandesh Tharu, Shreeram Tharu, and Chulluwa Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Dharma Raj Dnagol, Kathmandu, September 18, 2004. Dnagol was a member of Nepali Congress. See also Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Ram Prasad Acharya, Dhading, September 19, 2004. Acharya was a member of CPN-UML (United Marxist-Leninist), which has no links to CPN-M. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Dharma Raj Dangol; the disappearance of Ram Prasad Acharya.
 Human Rights Watch interviews with two relatives of Dilip Chandra Hadkhale, Tahanun, September 21, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Dilip Chandra Hadkhale.
 Human Rights Watch interviews with two relatives of Bir Bahadur Thapa, Dang, September 24, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Bir Bahadur Thapa.
 See, for example, Appendix, the disappearances of Hari Prasad Acharya, the disappearance of Neplai Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Fula Ram Tharu, Bardia, September 30, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Fula Ram Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Ram Karan Tharu, Bardia, September 30, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Ram Karan Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Rucnhya Tharu, Bardia, September 30, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Rucnhya Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Radheshyam Tharu, Bardia, September 30, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Radheshyam Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Raj Kumar Tharu, Bardia, September 30, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Raj Kumar Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Basantu Tharu, Bardia, September 30, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Basantu Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Lautan Tharu, Bardia, September 30, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Lautan Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Bagale Tharu, Bardia, September 30, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Bagale Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Parek Tharu, Bardia, September 30, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Parek Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Sunawa Chowdhury, Bardia, October 1, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Sunawa Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with anonymous witness, Bardia, October 1, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Kessar Kumar Chowdhury, Bardia, October 1, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Kessar Kumar Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Pati Ram Chowdhury, Bardia, October 1, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Pati Ram Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Mangru Chowdhury, Bardia, September 30, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Mangru Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Gopal Chowdhury, Bardia, September 28, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Gopal Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with two relatives of Moti Lal Tharu, Bardia, September 30, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Moti Lal Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Nirmal Chowdhury, Bardia, October 1, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Nirmal Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Jagat Prasad Chowdhury, Bardia, October 1, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Jagat Prasad Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Prem Bahadur Tharu, Bardia, September 28, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Prem Bahadur Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Dhani Ram and Sani Ram Tharu, Bardia, October 1, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Dhani Ram Tharu, the disappearance of Sani Ram Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Radhu Lal Chowdhury, Bardia, October 1, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Radhu Lal Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Mohan Chowdhury , Bardia, October 1, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Mohan Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Lauti Tharu, Bardia, September 28, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Lauti Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Kamali Tharu, Bardia, September 28, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Kamali Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interviews with the relatives of Dhani Ram and Sani Ram Tharu, Bardia, October 1, 2004; Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Prem Bahadur Tharu, Bardia, September 28, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Dani Ram Chowdhury, Dang, September 25, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Dani Ram Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Kedarnath Chowdhury, Dang, September 25, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Hari Lal Chowdhury, Dang, September 25, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Hari Lal Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Kim Bahadur Pun, Dang, September 25, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Kim Bahadur Pun.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Kim Bahadur Pun, Dang, September 25, 2004; Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Dani Ram Chowdhury, Dang, September 25, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Sohan Lal Chowdhury, Dang, September 24, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Sohan Lal Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Kuira Chowdhury, Dang, September 24, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Kuira Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Chanak Lal Chowdhury, Dang, September 24, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Chanak Lal Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview with the villagers in Paharwa, Duduwa VDC, Dang, September 24, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Khushi Ram Chowdhury, Dang, September 24, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Khushi Ram Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview, Dang, September 26, 2004. The name of the witness is on file with Human Rights Watch. His identity is being withheld to protect his safety.
 See Appendix, the disappearances of Tirtha Bahadur Thapa, Shree Ram Tharu, Hira Sing Bathamagar, Bom Bahadur Shahi and Siya Ram Chowdhury.
 See Appendix, the disappearances of Kali Ram Chowdhury, Bhag Ram Tharu, Hari Charan Tharu, Kalpalti Tharu, and Lal Bihari Tharu.
 See Appendix, the disappearances of Netra Prasad Baral, Tirtha Nath Luitel, Budhi Pande, Prakash Khanal, Badri Khadka, Keshar Singh Thakuri Krishna Panta, Bhanu Pariya, and Devi Prasad Dhakal.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Rajendra Thapa, Kathmandu, September 18, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Rajendra Thapa.
 Human Rights Watch interview with school official, Kathmandu, September 18, 2004 (the name of the witness is withheld to protect his safety); Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Parlad Waiba, Kathmandu, September 18, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Parlad Waiba.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Tanka Sharma, Kaski, September 21, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with the mother of Jangu Tharu, Bardia, September 29, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interviews with the relatives of Jangu Tharu, Ram Bharose Tharu, Jagana Tharu and Jagat Ram Tharu, Bardia, September 29, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearances of Jangu Tharu, Ram Bharose Tharu, Jagana Tharu and Jagat Ram Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Tribhuwan Giri, September 28, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Tribhuwan Giri.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Som Bahadur Bishwokarma, Kaski, September 21, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Som Bahadur Bishwokarma.
 See, e.g. Prisoners Released, Rearrested, The Himalayan Times, September 6, 2004; Two Feed, Rearrested, The Himalayan Times, November 18, 2004; Asian Human Rights Commission, Nepal: Re-arrest of Four People by the Police in the Court Yard in the Presence of the Lawyers, July 16, 2004 [online], http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2004/739/ (retrieved December 5, 2004); Asian Human Rights Commission, Nepal: Another Two Persons were Re-arrested Despite the Appellate Court's Release Orders in Banke District, December 1, 2004 [online], http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2004/880 (retrieved December 5, 2004); Amnesty International, Nepal: Two teenage boys and father, September 28, 2004 [online], http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news/press/15621.shtml (retrieved December 5, 2004).
 Human Rights Watch interviews with the relatives of Gita Ghartimagar and Nanda Bahadur K.C., Dang, September 25, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearances of Gita Ghartimagar and Nanda Bahadur K.C.
 Human Rights Watch interview, Kaski, September 22, 2004. The identity of the witness is withheld to protect his safety.
 Thapa was held in Bhairabnath Gulm barracks for eight days in October 2003, then released and rearrested a month later. After the second arrest he was seen in Chhauni barracks.
 The name of the witness is withheld to protect his safety. He was kept in Bhairabnath Gulm barracks for three months in 2003 and then transferred to 6 No Bahini Bareni army barracks in Dhading, where he spent the next four months before being released. The army never acknowledged having him in detention in response to relatives inquiries. Human Rights Watch interview, Dhading, September 19, 2004.
 Maharjan was detained incommunicado in Chhauni barracks in November 2003. In September 2004 he was transferred to Sundarijal investigation center in Kathmandu and allowed visits by his relatives. Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Dev Bahadur Maharjan, Kathmandu, September 18, 2004.
 Hadkhale was detained in Chhauni barracks for one day in September, 2003, then released and disappeared on January 21, 2004.
 Sharma might have been transferred to Bijayapur Army Barracks in Kaski, and then to Gorkha district see Appendix, the disappearance of Tanka Sharma.
 Baral was apparently transferred to Mahendra Gand army barracks in Gorkha after a month of detention in Fulbari barracks in late 2003.
 Ghartimagar was then transferred to Tulsipur prison, but disappeared after allegedly being released. See Appendix, the disappearance of Gita Ghartimagar.
 K.C. was then transferred to Tulsipur prison, but then disappeared after allegedly being released. See Appendix, the disappearance of Nanda Bahadur K.C.
 Gyani Chowdhury has not been seen in detention in Lamahi barracks; however, after her arrest, her parents were ordered to report to the barracks for questioning about their daughters activities, which strongly suggests that she was in detention there. See Appendix, the disappearance of Gyani Chowdhury.
 It is likely that four other men arrested together with Shahi were also taken to the Chisapani barracks, although there is no direct evidence of their detention there. See Appendix, the disappearances of Tirtha Bahadur Thapa, Shree Ram Tharu, Hira Sing Bathamagar, Bom Bahadur Shahi and Siya Ram Chowdhury.
 Soldiers at the Chisapani barracks told the family that Pun was transferred to the Thakurdwara army barracks after five days of detention there. See Appendix, the disappearance of Dayamanti Pun.
 Tate Ram Tharu and Hari Prasad Chowdhury have not been seen in detention in Rambhapur barracks; however, when they met with a senior officer there, he told them that if they could bring a statement from village leaders certifying the men had nothing to do with the Maoists, they might be released, strongly indicating that the men were indeed in his custody. See Appendix, the disappearances of Tate Ram Tharu and Hari Prasad Chowdhury.
 Jangu Tharu, Ram Bharose Tharu, Jagana Tharu, Jagat Ram Tharu have not been seen in detention; however, when the ex-chairman of their village inquired at the Rambhapur army post, an officer there initially asked him to bring a petition to release the detainees signed by the acting chairman, suggesting that the men were in custody there. See Appendix, the disappearances of Jangu Tharu, Ram Bharose Tharu, Jagana Tharu and Jagat Ram Tharu.
 This section discusses torture and killings only in governmental custody. Maoist forces have also been responsible for numerous cases of killings and torture, documented in Human Rights Watchs previous report on Nepal. See Human Rights Watch, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, 53-60.
 The National Human Rights Commission, Human Rights in Nepal: A Status Report 2003, 16.
 Informal Sector Service Center (INSEC), Human Rights Yearbook 2004, (Kathmandu: INSEC, 2004), 9.
 Human Rights Watch, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, 27. For a description of summary executions and unlawful killings by Nepali security forces see pages 26-53; for a description of extrajudicial executions by Maoist forces, see pages 53-60.
 Human Rights Watch interview with two relatives of Kala Ram and Khagga Tharu, Bardia, September 28, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interviews with the relatives of Kala Ram and Khagga Tharu, Bardia, September 28, 2004; Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Badhu Tharu Bardia, September 28, 2004; Human Rights Watch interview with a relatives of Babu Ram Tharu, Bardia, September 28, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearances of Khagga Tharu, Kala Ram Tharu, Badhu Tharu, and Babu Ram Tharu.
 See Appendix, the disappearances of Tirtha Bahadur Thapa, Shree Ram Tharu, Hira Sing Bathamagar, Bom Bahadur Shahi and Siya Ram Chowdhury.
 Human Rights Watch interview, Bardia, September 27, 2004. The name of the witness is on file with Human Rights Watch. His identity is being withheld to protect his safety.
 Human Rights Watch interviews with two relatives of Bir Bahadur Thapa, Dang, September 24, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Bir Bahadur Thapa.
 Human Rights Watch interview, Bardia, September 29, 2004. The name of the witness is on file with Human Rights Watch. His identity is being withheld to protect his safety. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Sita Ram Tharu.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Niru Pokhrel, Gorkha, September 20, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Niru Pokhrel.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Keshar Bahadur Nepali, Gorkha, September 20, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the disappearance of Keshar Bahadur Nepali.
 Human Rights Watch interview, Gorkha, September 20, 2004. The name of the witness is on file with Human Rights Watch. His identity is being withheld to protect his safety.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Niru Pokhrel, Gorkha, September 20, 2004; Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Keshar Bahadur Nepali, Gorkha, September 20, 2004; Human Rights Watch interview with Narnath Marhatta, Gorka, September 20, 2004; Human Rights Watch interview with INSEC official, Gorka, September 20, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with INSEC activist, Gorkha, September 20, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interviews, Bardia, September 29, 2004.
 Nepal acceded to the Convention against Torture on May 14, 1991; Article 14 (4) of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal (1990) states that no person who is detained during investigation or for trial or for any other reason shall be subjected to physical or mental torture, nor shall be given any cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Any person so treated shall be compensated in a manner as determined by law.
 The National Human Rights Commission, Human Rights in Nepal: A Status Report 2003 (Kathmandu: National Human Rights Commision, Nepal, 2003), 35.
 Sanjaya Dhakal, A terrible situation, Nepalnews.com, November 5-11, 2004 [online], http://www.nepalnews.com.np/contents/englishweekly/spotlight/2004/nov/nov05/national6.htm (retrieved December 6, 2004).
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Satya Narayan Prajapati, Kathmandu, September 18, 2004. For more information, see Appendix, the case of Satya Narayan Prajapati.
 The name of the second detainee is on file with Human Rights Watch. His identity is being withheld to protect his safety.
 Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Arjun Ojha, Kathmandu, October 11, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview, Kaski, September 22, 2004. The identity of the witness is being withheld to protect his safety.
 Human Rights Watch interview, Dhading, September 19, 2004. The name of the witness is on file with Human Rights Watch. His identity is being withheld to protect his safety.