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Nepal: U.N. Commission Establishes Human Rights Office

Due in part to Human Rights Watch's advocacy, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will establish an office in Nepal to monitor human rights abuses. The office will be the second largest OHCHR office in the world, with a detailed mandate to investigate violations of human rights in the country, including in rebel-held territories. Following the February 1 government takeover in Nepal by King Gyanendra, Human Rights Watch reported from Nepal on the civil society crackdown, censorship of the media, and increasing violence against civilians. To press our recommendations at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, we collaborated with key member states, including Switzerland, the European Union, the United States and India. We also worked with rights colleagues Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists to spotlight the crisis. Human Rights Watch recently issued a report highlighting the fact that for the last two years Nepal has led the world in "disappearances." We are now working closely with the OHCHR to ensure the smooth implementation of the office in Nepal and the rapid deployment of human rights monitors to the region.

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