According the U.N. Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances,, Nepal has the largest numbers of enforced disappearances in the world. The National Human Rights Commission, which closely monitors enforced disappearances, has documented six hundred sixty-two cases of enforced disappearances involving Nepali security forces between November 2000 and November 2003.178 Amnesty International has issued scores of urgent alerts about persons who disappear in government custody. If anything, the crisis of disappearances in Nepal has become more severe since the breakdown of the last ceasefire on August 27, 2003hundreds have been detained or abducted since then, and many remain missing.
Disappearances are reported throughout the country. In almost all cases, the disappeared persons were last seen in the custody of government security forces. Those detained are held in informal places of detention: tents, government buildings, containers, and army training centers, making it virtually impossible for family members and lawyers to locate and gain access to the disappeared. The armys disregard for court orders and its blatant lies to the courts seriously undermine one of the most important legal protections against disappearances, judicial oversight of detentions.
In one illustrative case documented by Amnesty International, the army formally denied having a person in custody, even though they were allowing family members to visit the detainee at the same time. Raman Kumar Shrestha, a human rights lawyer, was arrested on August 23, 2002, and a habeas corpus petition was filed on August 28. Even though the army allowed family members to visit Shrestha at the Chhauni army barracks in Kathmandu, they continued to deny he was in their custody to the courts, until the Supreme Court ordered his release on October 4, 2002.179
Many persons whom the government denied holding were later found to be detained incommunicado under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA), which came into effect in April 2002. Under the TADA, security forces can arrest without warrant and detain for up to sixty days for investigation and up to ninety days in preventive detention, without producing the detainee before a court of law. The TADA has been severely criticized as contravening the Constitution of Nepal (1990), which stipulates that arrested persons have the right to be produced before judicial authorities within 24 hours of arrest (excluding travel time), a right which under the constitution cannot even be abrogated during states of emergency.180 The government also uses the outdated Public Security Act (PSA) as a means to justify the unacknowledged detentions. The PSA, a holdover from the Panchayat days, allows for preventive detention up to ninety days with the possibility of extension of up to twelve months while police investigate. However, in many cases of disappearances the security forces simply ignore the law: individuals are held for long periods of time without being brought to a court, without access to lawyers and their families, and without the government even acknowledging they exist. It is likely that a significant number of the disappearedsome of whom have been missing since the late 1990shave been killed in custody.
The security forces do not only arrest and disappear suspected Maoists. The sweeping powers granted to the security forces by TADA and PSA have resulted in the arbitrary arrests, and in some cases enforced disappearances, of numerous lawyers and human rights activists, activists of leftist (but non-Maoist) political parties, journalists, academics, family members of Maoists, and villagers forced to give shelter to the Maoists.
As with many cases of arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and ill-treatment are common in custody. Human Rights Watch interviewed many persons who had been released after the government denied holding them in custody, as well as family members and colleagues of persons who remain among the disappeared. These interviews consistently showed that the government is denying those in its custody due process and communication with family and counsel. Many persons who were released described have been tortured or physically abused during interrogation, and some died from the abuse they suffered.
Many families of the disappeared, especially rural villagers, are desperately poor and illiterate, which means that formal mechanisms of complaint, such as filing petitions for writs of habeas corpus through a lawyer, are unavailable to them. They rely on informal approaches to security officials and rumors to find out what has happened to their loved ones. In those cases where the detained have families with access to lawyers, the security forces often ignore court orders, and refuse to respond to queries from the families or lawyers of detained persons.
Among the disappeared are at least some children. Human Rights Watch interviewed Renu Ale, a thirteen-year-old girl who had been in army custody since September 2003. Renu Ale had been abducted by the Maoists the year before; after she managed to escape to Kathmandu, she was detained by the army, who promised to return her the next morning. For months, the army denied that they had Renu Ale in their custody, until public outrage forced them to admit her detention. The army now claims that they are holding the young girl in protective custody from the Maoists. Renu told Human Rights Watch that she longed for her family: I want to see my mother and father. Thats all. I dont even need to get out, I just want to see them.181
Arbitrary Detentions of human rights lawyers
Human Rights lawyers have been a prime target for arbitrary arrest and detention. In February 2004, the Nepali security forces detained at least ten lawyers and held them incommunicado. Six have been released, but at the time of this report four still remain in detention. Most of the lawyers either worked for human rights organizationsincluding the official National Human Rights Commissionor represented Maoist suspects, and their interrogations by government agents almost exclusively focused on their human rights or legal activities.
A lawyer based in Kathmandu was among those detained in February 2004. In the preceding year, he had worked as a volunteer fact-finder on three cases under the aegis of the National Human Rights Commission. He has been a member of the CPN-UML for the last thirty years, although in recent years he has not been actively involved.
In late February, 2004, at 11:15 p.m., three armed men in civilian clothes with scarves covering their mouths came to his house. They identified themselves as being from the security forces, and said they had to search his house. The witness immediately asked to see their search warrant, and they replied that they didnt have one but would search his house anyway. They searched the whole house, from top to bottom, and found nothing. They then told the lawyer that he had to come with them. When he asked to see identification, they pulled out identification cards from the Royal Nepali Army (RNA), although they covered their names. They told him only that they wanted to find out why he was defending Maoists, and would return him after some questioning.
The lawyer was blindfolded and driven to an unknown location. He was kept blindfolded for the next 24 hours. He was told not to remove his blindfold because the men holding him didnt want to be recognized. When the blindfolds were removed, he realized he was being held in a container on an army barracks somewhere, probably within Kathmandu.
He was interrogated several times during his detention. He was always blindfolded during the interrogations, so he could not see much. From the questions he was asked he formed the impression that the interrogating panel consisted of some seven to nine people. Almost the entire questioning focused on his work as a human rights lawyer and his activities working for the National Human Rights Commission. He was asked why he did human rights work, why he had worked with the National Human Rights Commission, why he worked to defend Maoist cases, which Maoists did he know. He was told that all human rights workers are working to weaken the army. In addition, the interrogating team often asked him questions about the work of the NHRC and other human rights groups. He realized through their questions that his interrogators had little or no understanding of the work of the human rights community, often confusing the government-related NHRC with local and international NGOs.
The witness repeatedly demanded that his interrogators follow the procedures of criminal justice and grant him his rights. He always received the same answer: The country is in this condition. We are doing what we have to do to save the country.182 He had no contact with lawyers or with his family during his detention. His wife did not know what had happened to him. The Nepal Bar Association met with the Prime Minister and demanded an investigation into the whereabouts of the ten detained lawyers. The Nepal Bar Association also had been preparing a petition for habeas corpus on his behalf, but he was released after six days in detention, before his petition could be filed. His wife had to sign a document stating that he was in good mental and physical condition when he was released.
When Human Rights Watch interviewed him, he was still shaken by the experience and uncertain whether he would continue his human rights activism:
It is ten days after my release, and I am still not able to work. I feel intense anxiety. If I hear a noise, I jump. I cant sleep at night afraid that this might happen again. I have been asked by the NHRC if I want to participate in a training course they are preparing. Normally, I would have immediately accepted. Now, I dont know, I am afraid of what might happen if I continue to work with them.183
Disappearance and execution of Maina Sunuwar in Kahrel Tok, February 2004
On February 17, 2004, just four days after the killings of two girls in the Kavre district (see above), a group of eight or nine police officers came to the home of Devi Sunuwar, in Kahrel Tok VDC. Devi Sunuwar was a female relative of one of the Kavre victims, Reena Rasaili, and had been present at Reenas home the night of the killing, and had personally been harassed and sexually assaulted by a soldier who grabbed her breast.
When police officials arrived at Devi Sunuwar home shortly after 6:00 a.m., only her husband and sixteen-year-old daughter Maina Sunuwar were at homeDevi Sunuwar had spent the night at her parents home in Sulikot. The police called Maina outside by name, and then began insulting the family, saying they were Maoists and fed the Maoists. The police asked where Devi Sunuwar was, and her husband explained that she was at her parents home. The police then ordered the husband to come to the Shanti Gate Army barracks the next day, saying, If you come tomorrow, we will know you are innocent, and if you dont come well know you are guilty. The police then left, taking sixteen-year-old Maina Sunuwar with them.
Devi Sunuwars husband immediately went to find his wife, reaching Sulikot at 11:00 a.m. and making it back to his home around 4:30 p.m. together with his wife. The next morning, Devi Sunuwar and her husband went to the Shanti Gate Army barracks, accompanied by the local government representative, Bahirab Sandai, and the headmaster of Maina Sunwars school. However, when the family arrived at the Shanti Gate Army barracks, the officers at the barracks denied any knowledge of Maina Sunuwar, telling the family that no-one was detained at their barracks.
After the disappearance, the family visited numerous army and police offices, launched an application with the National Human Rights Commission, and went to see the Chief District Officer and other regional officials, without success: Nobody has told us so far where our daughter is, her father lamented.184
Informal sources within the local administration later told the family that Maina Sunuwar had been killed on the same day she was arrested, allegedly while she tried to run awaya favorite pretext used by the army when persons who were clearly detained are later found dead. No official confirmation of her death has been provided to the family by the army, and no body has been produced.185 Recently, the family has learned from a representative of a reliable international agency that Maina Sunuwar was killed after arrest.
Arbitary detention and torture of journalist Sita Ram Baral, September 2003
As in all countries in the midst of civil conflict, journalists in Nepal often maintain contact with both sides: such contacts are essential to covering the conflict. However, journalists often face arrest and abuse in detention for maintaining contacts with the Maoists.186 Sita Ram Baral, a journalist, used to belong to the United Marxist Leninists student organisation when he was in university, and some of his friends from that time have since joined the Maoist movement. In particular, one of his friends, Krishna Khatri Chhetripopularly known as KKC had been a vice-president of the Maoist-aligned All Nepal National Independent Student Union (Revolutionary), and had gone on to become an influential member of the CPN-M. Krishna Khatri Chhetri had also been actively involved from the Maoist side during the peace talks in 2003.
On September 12, 2003, Baral got a phone call from Krishna Khatri Chhetri asking Baral to meet him at 1:00 p.m. by a bridge over a small stream in Kathmandu. As soon as Baral met him, they were jostled and grabbed by some four men, one of whom put a pistol to Barals head. The four men were in civilian clothes, and later identified themselves as being from the security forces. Baral and Krishna Khatri Chhetris hands were then tied, they were blindfolded, and pushed into a car. After one hour of driving, they were brought to an unknown location. Baral still does not know where he and Krishna Khatri Chhetri were detained. He was kept blindfolded from the time of his arrest until his release five days later.
Baral was questioned by about twenty-five men on that first day. He was questioned from the time he arrived at the detention site until about 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. that night. During the questioning, he was beaten with truncheons and whipped with his own belt. He was also punched repeatedly in the face. He described how he could neither sit nor stand because of the beatings. The questions all focused on the whereabouts of the Maoist leaders, and Barals association with them. Baral repeatedly identified himself as a journalist without any political affiliations, but the interrogations continued. Different groups of interrogators would come in, and ask the same set of questions all over again.
Finally, Baral was taken away to a room where he was kept for the next three nights. During this time, the security forces watching him kept telling him that it was easier for them to kill him than to guard him. He lived in a state of terror and was in pain from his injuries. He often overheard the sounds of people screaming and being beaten. He said he had to wear handcuffs with serrated edges which clawed into his skin when he tried to ease the pressure by moving his wrists. He was told that it would be dangerous for him to take off his blindfold because his jailers did not want him to recognize them. Baral did not know at the time that there was intense public pressure being put on the security forces to secure his release. Nepals journalist community had immediately issued statements and releases about his disappearance and mobilized international support. As a result of this pressure, on the night of September 16, Baral was told that he would be released soon and that he would be all right.
That night, Baral was given some clean clothes, good food and a clean bed. The security forces told him not to talk about what had happened. The next day, he was taken to the police station from where he was released into the custody of his family.
Krishna Khatri Chhetri, the Maoist leader who was arrested together with Baral, is still missing. Baral had no contact with him during their detention, and does not know his fate. He only remembers one security guard remarking that Barals beatings were nothing compared to the beatings that Krishna Khatri Chhetri had recieved.187
Arbitrary Detention and Torture of political activist in Kavre, November 2003
Gopi Krishna Thapaliya is a lawyer and, until recently, was an active member of the left-of-center Samyukta Jana Morcha Nepal party for Kavre district. During the ceasefire in 2003, Thapaliya had helped a senior Maoist leader, Krishna Bahadur Mohora, travel to Kathmandu for negotiotions with the government. After the ceasefire broke down, Thapaliya was detained for his assistance to the Maoist leader.
In the early morning of November 4, 2003, six men in civilian clothes came to Thapaliyas house in Kathmandu. They introduced themselves as members of the security forces and said that they had to take him for some routine questioning. Thapaliya was given time to get dressed, then blindfolded and taken in a pick-up truck to a place he was later able to identify as Singha Durbar, the traditional seat of parliament and government offices.
Once at Singha Durbar, he was taken inside to a room in one of the many buildings there. He was kept blindfolded. After about fifteen minutes of waiting, he heard the sound of chairs being dragged into the room, and he realized that his interrogators were arriving. He was questioned several times, each time for about forty-five minutes each, with a fifteen minute pause between the sessions. He was made to stand during the interrogations. He was punched in the face, and was whipped with plastic pipes on his hips and legs. He was also kicked in between the whipping and the punching. He described how he kept falling to the ground, and how he was forced to stand up again to receive more blows. He was verbally assaulted. The language of the interrogators was rude and the tone was angry and loud. This interrogation and beatings lasted for at least three hours.
After the interrogation, Thapaliya was taken into a tent which was posted between two large buildings in Singha Durbar. Thapaliya said that the tent was used exclusively to house arrested persons and was hidden from those outside the grounds of Singha Durbar. At various times during the period of Thapaliyas detention, there were between eleven and twenty other detainees in this tent. Among them was a sixteen-year-old boy who kept crying every night. None of the detainees had any contact with family or counsel, and none had access to information about the reasons for their arrest. In most cases, the army denied holding the detainees when asked by family members. The detainees were given blankets but no mattresses. They received food and dirty water twice a day.
Security officials regularly came into the tent and threatened to give the detainees water treatment (also known as submarining, submerging the detainees heads in water to make them believe they would drown) or nettle treatment (beating detainees on exposed skin with the sharp edges of the nettle plant) because they had not told the truth during interrogation. Thapaliya was taken for interrogation on several occasions as were the other detainees, and the abusive interrogations always involved beatings and threats. None of the detainees received any medical treatment for wounds sustained during interrogation.
On the seventh day after Thapaliyas arrest, he noticed that the security officers started referring to him as Mr. Jana Morchajithe name of his political partywhich he read as a sign that they had realized that he was not a Maoist. Sure enough, the next day, he was released into the custody of his brother. Thapaliya was told that he needed to report to the Army every week, and eventually he was told that he could simply report by telephone.188
The Death in Custody of Kharga Bahadur Magar
In some cases documented by Human Rights Watch, detainees died in custody from the brutal treatment they received. Kharga Bahadur Magar, a grocery shop supplier, was arrested in November 2003. Security forces had sought him earlier on August 27, 2003, the day that the most recent round of peace talks broke down. Kharga Bahadur was not at home, but the soldiers took one of his relatives, held him for nine days, blindfolded and handcuffed, and interrogated him about Kharga Bahadur. Apparently, the security forces came to suspect that Kharga Bahadur was a Maoist when a Maoist leader, Krishna Bahadur Mohara, who had once been Kharga Bahadurs wifes teacher, had come for a meal at the familys home during the ceasefire period.
One day in November 2003, some fifty government troops surrounded the house at around midnight. Some of them came inside with their guns drawn. They detained Kharga Bahadur, claiming that it was for routine questioning and he would be released in a few days. The family was warned not to talk about the search and arrest. After waiting a week for his return, the family appealed to the National Human Rights Commission, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and local human rights groups. The army denied any knowledge of Kharga Bahadurs whereabouts. His family, fearing that appealing to the court might increase the chances of torture or execution, chose not to file a habeas corpus petition.
On March 3, 2004, two soldiers came and informed Kharga Bahadurs wife that her husband was ill and had been taken to the hospital. His wife recognized one of the men from the time her husband was arrested. They asked her to come to the hospital accompanied by a male relative. There was no man in the house, but she was too worried to wait and went to the hospital with a young niece. At the hospital there were several soldiers in plainclothes including the men that had come to summon her. She was kept waiting for almost two hours. They refused to answer her questions and instead asked why she had come without a male relative. Eventually, they said they would take her to her husband. They brought her to the morgue and told her that her husband had died due to illness.
The RNA released a statement saying that Kharga Bahadur had fallen sick while in custody and was shifted to a hospital where he died. The NHRC informed the family, that their missing persons complaint had been forwarded to the local police station. At the police station, the family demanded an autopsy and was told that the procedure had been done in the army hospital. No report was provided to the family.189
Kharga Bahadurs brother told Human Rights Watch about the signs of abuse that he found on his brothers body:
I am a police officer and I know how to look for signs of torture. When I saw my brothers body, his feet were swollen from beating. His shin bone seemed to have broken. He must have been wearing the same clothes for the entire period of his detention because they were full of lice. He had been freshly shaved and had an army haircut. Maybe they decided to clean him up so that he looked good when we saw him.190
Arbitrary Arrest and Torture of Goma Devi Shahi and the Disappearance of Ram Milan Balmiki and four others
Goma Devi Shahi from Kohalpur VDC has been an active member of the left-of-center Majdoor Kisan Party since her student days.191 On the night of April 26, 2002, the door of her house was broken down by five or six soldiers in camouflage uniform. They were armed and were carrying long bamboo sticks. Goma Shahis husband was not at home; she was there with her four young daughters. The soldiers asked for her by name, and when she identified herself, one of the soldiers threw her against the door. She was led out of her house at gunpoint without any explanation of why she was being arrested. She was put into a van where she found five other people who had been similarly arrested. One of these arrested was Ram Milan Balmiki, a twenty-seven-year-old man, who lived in the same village as Goma Shahi.192 He and his mother had been beaten in his house before he was taken away by the soldiers.193
The soldiers drove these six detainees to a field in front of the police administration headquarters in Kohlpur. One by one, each detainee was taken inside. Goma Shahi heard the sound of beatings and screaming coming from inside the administration headquarters shortly after the others were taken in. When she was taken in, she was made to stand in front of a group of about five police officers. She was beaten severely with bamboo sticks, on her thighs, her arms, and her back. When she fell down from the beatings she heard one of the police officers saying that he would hit her on the head if she didnt stand up. Goma Shahi was in great pain from these beatings. As she was being hit, the police questioned her about the Maoists, and threatened to blow up her house if she couldnt or wouldnt give them the information.
After half an hour, Goma Shahi was put into a cell. From sounds she heard, she realized that the other detainees were in a separate cell for men at the other end of the corridor. At around 4:00 a.m., she heard the sound of a car in the driveway, and heard the detainees in the other room being taken away.194 These five men are still unaccounted for nearly two years later, and may have been killed. Ram Milan Balmikis parents were informally told by the police the next morning that he had been taken into army custody, although the army continues to deny this. The parents have asked at all army barracks. The courts have issued three habeas corpus orders to the army to produce Ram Milan Balmiki, but the army has never responded.195
Goma Shahi was transferred the next day to district administration offices for further questioning. After fifteen days of detention there, during which time she was interrogated but not tortured, she was released. When she got home, she found that all the banners and flags belonging to the Majdoor Kisan Party had been confiscated by the police. Also gone was the extensive collection of books which Goma Shahi and her husband had compiled over the years.196
Disappearance of Karna Bahadur Chowdhury, Banke District, August 2003
In many cases of disappearances, very little information is available except for the knowledge that security forces arrested the person on a particular day and that no one has heard anything about the person since that day. Karna Bahadur Chowdhury, a carpenter, was arrested by government soldiers as he was leaving work on August 14, 2003. Soldiers had visited his house three times within the preceding month, each time between 1:00 and 4:00 a.m., but he had been away each time. The soldiers were abusive to his wife, calling her a whore, slapping her and touching her breasts.
Karna Bahadur Chowdhury has not been seen since he was arrested. Eyewitnesses to the arrest told the family that he had been blindfolded and put in a green army jeep. All attempts to find any information about his whereabouts and well-being have failed.197
Disappearance of Raj Bahadur Chowdhury, Banke District, August 2003
On August 30, 2003, Raj Bahadur Chowdhury, a twenty-two-year-old carpenter, was forcibly taken away from his house outside Nepalgunj by soldiers who identified themselves as troops of the Unified Command. When his wife tried to object, one of the soldiers hit her with his gun. Another soldier called her a whore, and ordered her to give him her six-month-old sons blanket so he could use it to blindfold her husband, and some rope to tie his hands. She last saw her husband as he was being led away, blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back, down the dirt road towards the main access road. The family has tried to find out what happened to Raj Bahadur Chowdhury by going to nearby army barracks, but with no success.198
Disappearance of Chandra Kumar Dhakal, Janakpur, October 2003
Chandra Kumar Dhakal, a twenty-five-year-old villager from Kavre district, worked at the Kyoto Hotel in the Thamel area of Kathmandu as a food server. In Kathmandu, he became a member of the Maoist-oriented Revolutionary Student Union. On November 12, 2003, he was arrested when he attended a rally in the Patan district of Kathmandu. Other student activists informed Chandra Kumars father three months after the arrest about the disappearance. His father, a sixty-year-old illiterate farmer, went to various police and army barracks to attempt to locate his missing son, without success. The family has had no news of Chandra Kumars fate since his arrest.199
Disappearance of Manoj Kumar Dutta and Ram Chandra Lal Karma
On October 3, 2003, the police raided the Janakpur home of Ugra Narayan Dutta, a sixty-year-old retired teacher, looking for his thirty-nine-year-old son, Manoj Kumar Dutta. The police had been searching for Manoj Kumar Dutta for several months, on suspicion that he was an area commander for the Maoists. According to Anju Dutta, the wife of Manoj Kumar Dutta, the police found Manoj at home that day, together with another suspected Maoist, Ram Chandra Lal Karma. The police tied the two men with their hands behind their backs, and then took them out in the yard to beat them, according to Anju Dutta: They ordered Manoj and Ram Chandra Lal to lay down in the yard. The police began beating them with their rifles, their boots, and a grinding stone, from 9:30 until 11:30 a.m.200
After the beatings, the police blindfolded the two men and took them away in police vans.201 After the arrests, the family repeatedly met the Chief District Office as well the citys Superintendent of Police, but were given no information about the fate of Manoj Kumar Dutta. Despite the assistance of local human rights activists, the ICRC, and the National Human Rights Commission, the family has not received any information about the fate of the two men.202
Disappearance of five young men, Janakpur, October 2003
In the afternoon of October 8, 2003, a joint operation by army and police forces arrested a group of ten young men who had gathered for a picnic party on the outskirts of Janakpur. According to local human rights activists from INSEC, at least some of the detained men were affiliated with the Maoist movement, mostly as members of the Maoist militia. Jaya Kishar Lal, a fifty-three-year-old lawyer, heard that his son Sanji Kumar Karma was among the detained men, and immediately went to the district police headquarters to seek his release. He was informed that his son had been arrested and was being kept at the regional police station. At the regional police station, he found a group of young men standing in their underwear in the courtyard, with their hands tied and blindfolded, and he believes he recognized his son among the men. The men were taken inside the building when Jaya Kishar Lal arrived.
The next day, five of the detained men were released from police custody. Sanji Kumar and four others (Jitendra Jha, Durgesh Labh, Pramood Narayan Mandal, and Salendra Yadav) had disappeared in police custody. As an experienced lawyer, Jaya Kishar Lal contacted every possible person who could help, including local human rights groups INSEC and CIVICT, the National Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, the Inspector General of Police, the Inspector General of the Armed Police, the head of the Army, the Home Minister, and the Prime Minister. Despite his extensive efforts, no information has come forth about the fate of his son and the four other missing men.203
 An Appeal: Disappearance Name List 2057-2060 Mangsir, National Human Rights Commission, Nepal, December 2003.
 Amnesty International, Nepal: Widespread Disappearances in the context of armed Conflict, October 16, 2003, AI Index ASA 31/045/2003.
 Article 14 (6) of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal (1990.)
 Human Rights Watch interview with Renu Ale, Royal Nepal Army Club, Kathmandu, March 10, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview, name withheld, March 7, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview, name withheld, March 7, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Purna Bahadur Sunuwar, March 6, 2004.
 E-mail communication, May 6, 2004.
 Maoists also abuse journalists: for example, Maoists are responsible for the brutal September 2003, murder of Gyanendra Khadka, a reporter for the government news agency Rastriya Samachar Samiti. For an overview of abuses against journalists in Nepal, see the annual worldwide survey by the Committee to Project Journalists.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Sita Ram Baral, Kathmandu, March 11, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Gopi Krishna Thapaliya, Kathmandu, March 11, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Bijaya Khadka, Kathmandu, March 11, 2004
 Human Rights Watch interview with Jhum Bahadur Khadga, Kathmandu, March 11, 2004
 Majdoor Kisan Party is a left-of-center party whose insignia includes the sickle and hammer common to most communist parties.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Goma Devi Shahi, Kohalpur, March 17, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview, Kohalpur, March 17, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Goma Devi Shahi, Kohalpur, March 17, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with S.L. Balmiki and Maili Balmiki, Kohalpur, March 17, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Goma Devi Shahi, Kohlpur VDC, March 17, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview, March 18, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview, March 18, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview, February 12, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview, March 14, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview, March 14, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview, March 14, 2004.