Kanak Mani Dixit
Kanak Mani Dixit
Kanak Mani Dixit

Mr. Shakti Bahadur Basnet
Home Minister of Nepal
Ministry of Home Affairs
Singh Durbar, Kathmandu
NEPAL
Fax: +977 1 421-1257, 421-1286
Email: gunaso@moha.gov.np

Dear Home Minister of Nepal,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights defender and Freelance journalist.

On 22 April 2016, the Commission of Investigation on Abuse of Authority (CIAA) ordered the arrest of human rights defender Mr Kanak Mani Dixit.  Approximately twenty police officers (including plain clothed police officers) arrested him near his office in Patan Dhoka, Kathmandu and placed him in detention in Gaushala Police Circle jail.

he order for his arrest was issued by Mr Lok Man Singh Karki, Chairman of the CIAA, in accordance with Section 19.1 (c) of the CIAA Act 2048 (1991). The refusal of the human rights defender to cooperate in a corruption investigation opened against him in November 2015 allegedly served as the basis for the arrest order. Instead of placing Kanak Mani Dixit in its own detention center, the CIAA sent the human rights defender to a common jail cell for petty criminals at Gaushala Police Circle, where he is currently being detained in inhumane conditions.

On 20 April 2016, Kanak Mani Dixit refused to present himself for questioning at the CIAA, as previously ordered. In a written reply to the investigation authority, the human rights defender challenged the CIAA’s power to summon him. Kanak Mani Dixit relied on the judgement of the Supreme Court, in November 2015, which ruled that the investigation into the case of the human rights defender had been launched in violation of the prescribed decision-making process. The Supreme Court reminded the CIAA that respecting the principle of the rule of law was among the main responsibilities of the authority. Before the 20 April 2016, Kanak Mani Dixit had cooperated with the CIAA on a regular basis, presenting himself for questioning and providing written submissions including details of his assets.

On 5 December 2015, Kanak Mani Dixit was summoned for the first time by the CIAA on suspicion of illegally amassing property by abusing his authority as Chairman of Sajha Yatayat bus company. Similar summons were received by twenty-eight high-ranking personalities suspected of involvement in corruption. Reportedly, none of the accused had previously been on the CIAA’s agenda. All twenty-nine persons, however, were known for criticising the appointment of Lok Man Singh Karki as Chairman of the CIAA.

In 2013, Kanak Mani Dixit published several articles in Himal Khabarpatrika and Himal Southasian magazines, criticising the appointment of Lok Man Singh Karki as Chairman of the CIAA. The Chairman had previously been indicted by the Rayamajhi Commission, formed to investigate human rights violations committed during the people’s movement to restore democracy in Nepal during the final days of the monarchy’s rule in 2006. At the time of the people’s movement, Lok Man Singh Karki served as Chief Secretary of the government, and was subsequently found guilty of committing a series of brutal human rights violations. He was appointed as chairman of the CIAA in spite of the guilty verdict against him.

I strongly condemns the arrest and detention of Kanak Mani Dixit, which i believe is directly linked to his legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights in Nepal.

I urge the authorities in Nepal to:

1. Immediately and unconditionally release Kanak Mani Dixit from detention and close the investigation on him;

2. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of human rights defender Kanak Mani Dixit;

3. Ensure that his treatment in detention is in compliance with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners;

4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Nepal are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

Sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes

Human Rights Defender &  Freelance Journalist

Twitter @wnicholasgomes

Email: william@williamnicholasgomes.com

www.facebook.com/williamnicholasgomes

Note: The letter has been developed based on   the urgent appeal issued  by the Irish human rights watchdog Frontline Defenders . It should be noted that  the letter has been developed for the purpose of expressing solidarity and human rights advocacy using alternative media and wider email campaign. Frontline Defenders should be given credit for the information used on this letter . Please do  contact Frontline Defenders for further updates.

 

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