Protect the Right to Monitor Human Rights!
INSEC expresses its concern on the misbehavior experienced by our team members through a group of unidentified people on November 25, 2022 during their visit to Syangja’s Constituency no. 2, Chapakot Municipality wards no. 3, 4 and 5. During the elections held on November 20 the CPN-UML, Rastriya Swatantra Party, Rastriya Prajtantra Party and others including independent candidates had demanded re-polling and the vote count had not begun yet; the team of INSEC had visited to monitor the situation.
In order to monitor the situation, the team of INSEC had gone to Janaksakriya Basic School of Chithipokhari polling station located in Chapakot Municipality-5. During this, the team discussed the events of the voting day with the local residents. After the discussion, while returning to the headquarters, a group of unidentified people made the INSEC team get off the vehicle, took pictures of the people and their vehicle, made unnecessary inquiries, and later called, abused and threatened them. Although the monitoring team introduced the purpose of the visit and the organization to the group, they were threatened to return immediately and were warned on the uncertainties in the future if they did not leave.
It is required to remember here that Nepal’s human rights defenders have continuously monitored the situation of human rights even in the difficult situation of armed conflict. The Constitution and laws of Nepal and many treaty agreements to which Nepal is a party state ensures the right of human rights defenders to monitor the human rights situation without interruption.
It is certainly not pleasant that such an incident happened to the organization that has received permission of Election observation through the Election Commission. Disruption in monitoring helps to confirm the allegations of booth capture made by opposition political parties. We request Election Commission and the Government of Nepal to bring those involved in this incident to justice and prepare an environment for uninterrupted monitoring.
Dr Indira Shrestha
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