Nepal lawyer and politician, Lok Krishna Bhattarai was reportedly arrested on 18 February by four men in plain clothes claiming to be security forces personnel. His whereabouts are now unknown and Amnesty International reports concern that he may have ‘disappeared’.
The men arrived at his house in Baluwatar, Kathmandu municipality, at 5am, while he was in the shower. His family said that three men went into the house, while another waited outside the gate. When Lok Krishna Bhattarai returned from his shower the men identified themselves as security forces personnel. When he demanded to see formal identification, the men replied that it should be sufficient that they said they were security forces personnel, and did not produce any proof. They told him to put on warm clothes, as he was to go with them to help with some inquiries. They said he would be returned after two hours.
Lok Krishna Bhattarai is the General Secretary of the Pushpa Lal Memorial Foundation, a social organisation named after the founder of the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN), now known as the CPN-United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), a legal party that was the principal opposition party in mainstream politics before Parliament was dissolved by the King in October 2002. Lok Krishna Bhattarai is a member of the CPN-UML Central Social Service Department, and has stood for national elections from his home district of Okhaldhunga. He is also an lawyer, and a member of the Lalitpur Bar Association.
Letter written February 26th 2004 by Heather D. Neun, B.A., M.Phil., LL.B.