Nepal hunger striker died seeking justice for war crimes

Wed Oct 8, 2014 10:48am EDT
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By Gopal Sharma

KATHMANDU (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than two weeks after a Nepalese hunger striker died, his frozen corpse still lies unclaimed in a hospital morgue - a grim reminder of the desperate struggle for justice by the families of victims of the decade-long civil war.

    Nanda Prasad Adhikari, 56, and his wife Ganga Maya had been on hunger strike for 11 months, demanding a formal investigation of the death of their teenage son in 2004, a time when conflict raged in the impoverished Himalayan nation.

    Adhikari died in a Kathmandu hospital on Sept. 22, while 54-year-old Maya, still on hunger strike, is "stable but critical" in the hospital's intensive care unit, doctors say.

"The tragic outcome of the protest by Nanda Prasad Adhikari shows the desperation of the demands for justice by victims of the conflict in Nepal," Rory Mungoven, Asia-Pacific head of the United Nations Human Rights office, said after Adhikari's death.

"The Nepalese authorities should step up their investigation into the murder of Krishna Prasad Adhikari as promised by the government in 2013 and take every possible step to bring the killers to justice without political interference," he added.

    Nepal, wedged between China and India, is recovering from a decade of fighting between Maoist rebels and government forces in which about 18,000 people were killed, thousands wounded and hundreds went missing.

    Human rights activists say both security forces and rebels committed crimes against civilians such as abduction, rape, torture and murder, but no crimes have been investigated since the war ended in 2006.