Nepal: DINESH RAJ PRASAIN, Human Rights Defender

Mr. Dinesh Raj Prasain is the Coordinator of the Collective Campaign for Peace (COCAP), and a leading human rights activist in Nepal . COCAP is a network of 40 community based groups working to rebuild Nepali society in the face of the violent conflict between the Maoist insurgents and the government. Shortly after midnight on January 13th 2004, 6 or 7 men dressed in civilian clothes arrived at Mr. Prasain’s home. Identifying themselves as security personnel, they asked Mr. Prasain to let them in so they could search his apartment. Mr. Prasain, fearful that the men were criminals, refused to do so. At this time one of the men pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot him. The men then broke down the door, beat Mr. Prasain and searched his apartment. It appears the men were searching for a Maoist individual, and various documents and materials. Nepal has been experiencing a deteriorating human rights situation. With the break down on August 27th 2003 of the cease fire between the government and the rebel Maoist group CPN, both groups have engaged in human rights violations. The Advocacy Project a Washington D.C. based group, carried out a fact finding mission regarding this incident and concluded that Mr. Prasain was assaulted by a group of individuals belonging to the security forces.


Letter written January 19th 2004