British government accused of helping monarchist torturers in Nepal

This video says about itself:

Legal bid over MI5 torture guidance

A British human rights group has launching legal action against the government over guidelines the UK’s intelligence agencies on how to interrogate prisoners held overseas.

Reprieve, which represents former Guantanamo Bay detainees, says unpublished guidance from 2002 and 2004 is unlawful because it condones complicity in torture.

Alan Fisher reports from London.

(Feb 23, 2010)

From AFP news agency:

Britain accused of conniving at torture of Maoists in Nepal’s civil war

Author says MI6 assisted Nepalese army as it carried out gross human rights violations in war with Maoist rebels

Sunday 31 August 2014 04.18 BST

British authorities have been accused of funding a four-year intelligence operation in Nepal that led to Maoist rebels being arrested, tortured and killed during the country’s civil war.

Thomas Bell, the author of a new book on the conflict, says MI6 funded safe houses and provided training in surveillance and counter-insurgency tactics to Nepal’s army and spy agency, the National Investigation Department (NID) under “Operation Mustang”, launched in 2002.

Nepal’s decade-long civil war left more than 16,000 dead, with rebels and security forces accused of serious human rights violations including killings, rapes, torture and disappearances.

“According to senior Nepalese intelligence and army officials involved in the operation, British aid greatly strengthened their performance and led to about 100 arrests,” said Bell, whose book Kathmandu is released in south Asia on Thursday.

“It’s difficult to put an exact number on it, but certainly some of those who were arrested were tortured and disappeared,” he said.

Maoist commander Sadhuram Devkota, known by his nom-de-guerre Prashant, was among those captured during Operation Mustang, in November 2004. Six weeks later, he was found hanging from a low window in his cell. Officials said he had committed suicide.

Despite protests, no independent investigation was ever carried out.

British authorities helped construct a bug-proof building in the NID headquarters, created a secure radio network for communications and supplied everything from cameras to computers to mobile phones and night vision binoculars, according to Bell’s sources in the Nepalese security establishment.

“The agency also sent a small number of British officers to Nepal, around four or five – some tied to the embassy, others operating separately,” Bell said.

The officers gave the Nepalese training in how to place bugs, how to penetrate rebel networks and how to groom informers.

Bell spent about a year interviewing some 20 highly-placed sources to corroborate the details of the operation, and said a senior western official told him the operation was cleared by Britain’s Foreign Office.

A Nepalese general with close knowledge of the operation told Bell there was no doubt British authorities realised that some of the arrested suspects would be tortured and killed.

“Being British they must have thought about human rights also, but they knew exactly what was happening to them,” the general said. “The thing must have been approved at a high level.”

Bell said it was “a peculiar contradiction that while calling for an end to abuses … the British were secretly giving very significant help in arresting targets whom they knew were very likely to be tortured”.

Bell covered Nepal’s civil war from 2002 to 2007, reporting for the Economist and the South China Morning Post.

Tejshree Thapa, senior researcher at the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, told AFP: “Nepal’s army was known by 2002 to be an abusive force, responsible for … summary executions, torture, custodial detentions.

“To support such an army is tantamount to entrenching and encouraging abuse and impunity.”

The Bullet and the Ballot Box: The Story of Nepal’s Maoist Revolution, by Aditya Adhikari (Verso, £20). Book review here.

THE trial of a Nepalese army officer accused of torturing two suspected Maoist rebels during that country’s bloody civil war began at the Old Bailey in London yesterday. Lieutenant Colonel Kumar Lama, 47, allegedly presided over the torture of two men — Janak Raut and Karam Hussain — while in charge of Gorusinghe Barracks in Kapilvastu, Nepal in 2005: here.

6 thoughts on “British government accused of helping monarchist torturers in Nepal

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  6. Thursday 5th October 2017

    posted by James Tweedie in World

    Unity deal aims at parliamentary domination

    Nepal’s two main communist parties have agreed to merge ahead of elections later this year — with the aim of dominating the new parliament.

    The Communist Party of Nepal — Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) and the CPN — Maoist Centre signed a pact in Kathmandu on Tuesday afternoon, along with the much smaller New Force Party.

    They agreed to jointly contest two-stage elections to the new House of Representatives on November 26 and December 7 — and announce their unification after that, the Online Khabar website reported.

    The three parties named an eight-member unification co-ordination committee, which includes CPN-UML president KP Oli, Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal — better known by his nom de guerre Prachanda — and New Force leader Baburam Bhattarai.

    Mr Oli said a truly unified communist party was a “historic necessity solely in the interest of Nepal and its people.”

    He invited smaller communist factions to join, saying the new party was open to all.

    The new alliance hopes to win a landslide two-thirds majority in the 275-member lower house, overtaking the Nepali Congress party currently governing in coalition with the Maoists.

    Prachanda reassured Congress over the alliance’s intentions. “This is not targeted at any force and the alliance is for the well-being of the people and the nation,” he said.

    But India’s Hindustan Times reported that an emergency meeting of the Nepali Congress had accused the Maoists of “betraying” their coalition partners and resolved to take “serious steps” against them.

    Some unnamed Congress leaders told the newspaper that the aim of the new alliance was to force their party out of government.

    The new lower house will have 165 members elected by the first-past-the-post system from constituencies and 110 by proportional representation in a single nationwide constituency.

    The alliance has agreed that CPN-UML members will make up 60 per cent of the constituency candidates and the Maoists 40 per cent.

    The restored Federal Parliament replaces the 593-seat Constituent Assembly that has governed since 2008.

    The parliament has not sat since former king Gyanendra dissolved it in 2002 — triggering a crisis that ended with the overthrow of the monarchy in 2008.


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