Mandira Sharma – Nepal

Linked with The Advocacy Forum, and with Arnold Tsunga – Zimbabwe.

(From Human Rights Watch): The Royal Nepali Army engaged in killing noncombatants, torturing prisoners, and illegally detaining more than 1,200 Nepalis, gaining Nepal the sorry distinction of having the highest number of reported “disappearances” in the world … (full text).

Human Rights Watch Honors Global Rights Defenders, Lawyers from Nepal and Zimbabwe, Fight for Rights of Powerless, October 11, 2007 – Two courageous Human Rights Lawyers, from Zimbabwe and Nepal, have been chosen to receive the prestigious Human Rights Defender Awards, Human Rights Watch said today. The awards will be presented at dinners in London, Munich, Hamburg, and Geneva in November … (full text).

She says: “Human beings do not have the right to kill another human being, nobody has that right, you have the right to do only good things. Sometimes, I think that I have the right to do the same as they did to my father. My father was chopped into 14 pieces and his body was put in a burlap. We did not even get to see him. They started chopping from his legs. I want to chop them into 14 pieces, but I guess I don’t have that right” … (full text).

Mandira Sharma - Nepal.jpg.

Mandira Sharma – Nepal

In 2001, Mandira Sharma helped found the Advocacy Forum, a Nepali NGO that has played a crucial role in defending the rights of Nepali people caught in the brutal civil war between Maoist insurgents and the Nepali government. Mandira has focused on achieving accountability for abuses committed by both sides during the fighting. She and her staff of 21 lawyers at her organization filed lawsuits on behalf of victims of torture by government forces, investigated cases of deaths in government custody, and filed numerous habeas corpus petitions to free prisoners illegally detained by the government. Even under constant pressure and harassment, Mandira led the call for the release of thousands of child soldiers believed to be among Maoist troops … (full text).

Read: gender dimensions of the people’s war, International Commission of Jurists.

Since 1996, Nepali people have been caught in the brutal civil war between Maoist insurgents and the Nepali government, during which more than 13,000 Nepalis were killed, most of them by government troops. The Royal Nepali Army engaged in killing noncombatants, torturing prisoners, and illegally detaining more than 1,200 Nepalis, gaining Nepal the sorry distinction of having the highest number of reported “disappearances” in the world. The Maoists have forcibly recruited children as soldiers, engaged in public execution of their enemies and brutal torture of those they viewed as traitors or collaborators. (full text).

Listen to an audio of the interview with Mandira Sharma on NPR (15MB mp3 file).

She says also: “There is a misunderstanding created by some media. I was never in exile. I was very much there in Nepal while April movement had begun. Records would show that I was constantly working for the victims of human rights violations from both the government side and the Maoists side during the 15-month reign of the autocratic ruler Gyanendra. However, I must admit that while the peoples’ movement was gaining tempo, I had to visit Geneva, Switzerland in connection with a human rights meeting. During that time, along with a friend, I visited different countries to lobby for democracy and human rights in Nepal. As I had received constant threats from the then government and my activities were closely monitored, some members of the media must have reached to a notion that I fled the country for safety reasons while I flew for Geneva. I am now here in the United States at the invitation of the HRW to receive the award and participate in the annual dinner tour. And I am leaving USA tomorrow for my home”. (full long interview text).

Watch this Google Videos with Mandira Sharma, 50 Min., from 19.11.2006.

Mandira Sharma engages high-level officials in Nepal’s justice system in reforms that enable citizens to hold police and courts accountable. Failures to contain a seven-year insurgency have produced public criticism and low police morale–all of which lend momentum to her work. (full text).

Mandira and her colleagues are struggling to make sure that any peace talks address the needs and demands of the Nepali people, not just their political leaders (Sam Zarifi, Asia research director for Human Rights Watch) … (full text).

Since 1996, Nepali people have been caught in the brutal civil war between Maoist insurgents and the Nepali government, during which more than 13,000 Nepalis were killed, most of them by government troops. The Royal Nepali Army engaged in killing noncombatants, torturing prisoners, and illegally detaining more than 1,200 Nepalis, gaining Nepal the sorry distinction of having the highest number of reported ‘disappearances’ in the world. The Maoists have forcibly recruited children as soldiers, engaged in public execution of their enemies and brutal torture of those they viewed as traitors or collaborators. (full text).

Field Notes: human rights defenders speak, Tuesday 6 November, 12.30-1.30pm, (sorry, the year is not indicated).

links:

Profile: Advocacy Forum (Nepal), ICJ Affiliated Organisation;

ILF in Nepal is a joint project;

The New York Nepali Times;

Mandira Sharmka on the New York Times;

International Commission of Jurists;

Interdisciplinary Humanities Center;

Nepal National Workshop for Lawyers, Sept. 2002, with Agenda.

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