Appeal

19th August 2015

Subject: Appeal for the release of Dr. C. K. Raut from house-arrest [PhD (Cambridge), Former Scientist, Social Activist, Author, Freedom Fighter, Arrested for 11 times, Observed 11-day fast-unto-death for freedom of speech, Under House Arrest, His talks/DVDs/books banned]

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to you at this time to update you about the continued oppression of Dr. C. K. Raut by the Government of Nepal, and seek your assistance in stopping the state’s brutality and violence as well as protecting his fundamental human-rights.

Born in a poor family of a remote village of Saptari district of Nepal, Dr. Chandra Kant Raut holds a PhD from Cambridge University, the UK. He worked as a scientist in the USA prior to returning to Nepal in 2011 to work for the upliftment of the Madheshi society.  He is the founder of the Injot Movement, an initiative for social transformation targeted at Nepal, Bangladesh and Ethiopia.  He has been a recipient of a number of awards including Mahendra Vidyabhusan (honoured by the King of Nepal), Kulratna Gold Medal, Young Engineer Award and Trofimenkoff Academic Achievement Award.  He has also authored ‘A History of Madhesh’, ‘Madhesh Swaraj (Self-rule)’ and ‘Denial to Defence (autobiography)’. He is the director of a documentary, ‘Black Buddhas’, highlighting discrimination, racism and colonisation imposed on the “black” Madheshis by the Nepali ruling class people. He has given talks on the issues of the Madheshis, throughout the world including at Harvard University.

In recent years, following the principles of Buddha, Gandhi and Mandela, he has been advocating for an end to racism, colonisation and discrimination imposed on the 12 million indigenous black Madheshi people, the people of the southern plain region of Nepal called Madhesh/Terai, by the northern Nepali ruling class people. In this regard, upon an official invitation from the Constituent Assembly of Nepal, he also attended a meeting of the Constitutional and Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) in Singh Durbar, and suggested for the constitutional right to secession for the indigenous people in the upcoming constitution.

However, on 13th September 2014, the Government of Nepal arrested him and charged with a treason demanding life-imprisonment for him for addressing a cultural annual festival of the indigenous people, called Santhals. (“Nepal: Authorities must unconditionally release CK Raut with immediate effect,” Amnesty International, 17th October 2014; “Nepal: Drop Sedition Charges against Madheshi Activist: Arrest of CK Raut Violates Free Speech Rights,” Human Rights Watch, 14th October 2014; “Immediately release Doctor Chandra Kant Raut who have been confined into illegal and arbitrary confinement,” Asian Human Rights Commission, 13th September 2014; “Regarding Dr Chandra Kant Raut charged with sedition,” Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, 6th November 2014.)

He started a fast-unto-death demanding freedom of expression, as guaranteed by the Article 12(3)(a)  of the Constitution of Nepal, and opposing physical and mental torture and death-threats given to him in the police custody. The fast ended on the 11th day (1st October 2014) after signing an agreement with the government ensuring freedom of expression and after getting an assurance for his unconditional release within the next 48-hours. However, instead of releasing him, the government filed a treason charge against him, demanding life-imprisonment. Dr. Raut was sent to the Dillibazaar Prison on 14th October, after he refused to pay a bail amount of NRs. 50,000 ($500) as ordered by the Special Court.

However, people of Madhesh started a campaign to collect NRe. 1 ($0.01) from each person to get Dr. Raut released from jail and gathered more than four times the required amount within just one week. Respecting people’s verdict, Dr. Raut came out of jail on 24th November, paying the bail amount raised from people’s voluntarily donations. On 26th November, more than 400 Madheshi activists including Dr. Raut were arrested on the eve of the 18th SAARC summit in Kathmandu, fearing a planned peaceful mass assembly, solely looking at the colour of their skin on a racial manner (“Dissenting Voices at Risk,” Amnesty International, 5th December 2014; “Mass arrests on eve of SAARC summit,” Asian Human Rights Commission, 29th November 2014). He was released after three days.

Since his release on bail, Dr. Raut attempted to reach to people through mass assemblies throughout the southern plain region of Nepal to thank them. His assemblies drew thousands of people everywhere. Looking at the ever increasing number of participants in those mass-assemblies, the government virtually banned any mass-assembly or even meeting of Dr. Raut, and has been violently attacking on participants and activists, contrary to the right to peaceful assembly enshrined in the Article 12 (3b)  of the Interim Constitution of Nepal.

During the brutal suppression of a mass-assembly on 3rd January 2015 in Biratnagar, an eastern town of Nepal, Dr. Raut was injured severely from the police attacks. His right leg got fractured and his left-hand finger bled from the injury. He was taken into the police custody as he started addressing the gathering of thousands of people, and was released only at the mid-night, refusing any medical assistance he urgently needed due to pain from fractured leg. Later he had to get his leg plastered. The police used several rounds of tear-gas shells and bullets to disperse the gathered mass. The police brutally beat many locals, entering into their houses, and arrested dozens of activists.  Even after that, on 8th January, the police intervened in the Birgunj mass assembly, fired several rounds of bullets and tear-gas shells, and arrested about a dozen of activists, including Dr. Raut who went to address the assembly despite his fractured leg. He was detained in the Armed Police Force (APF) camp amidst the forest in Bara. Similarly, on 19th January, the police again foiled the Martyr’s Day ceremony in Lahan, by firing several rounds of tear-gas shells and bullets, and arresting Dr. Raut to prevent him from attending the ceremony. Similarly, on 4th April, the police severely beat Dr. Raut when he reached to the venue of a mass assembly in Jhapa. Dr. Raut sustained head and arms injury, and had to go through medical treatment for several weeks.

The Court gave Dr. Raut a clean-chit on 23rd April 2015, citing insufficient evidences for the charge of treason. Despite getting a clean chit from the court, his talks, meetings and assemblies have been brutally suppressed by police, and essentially banned, with more than a thousand arrested, a hundred injured and a dozen fake cases filed against supporters over a span of a year. Dr. Raut himself has been arrested for 11 times.

Recently, Dr. Raut has been put under an undeclared house arrest, and has been prevented to attend even religious ceremonies or funeral rituals. His privacy and security has been compromised by the government (“Police intrudes Dr. Raut’s privacy and security keeping him under 24 hours surveillance,” Asian Human Rights Commission, 3rd July 2015). He has been banned from even giving an interview. On 26th May, he was arrested from a media room of a TV station, forbidding him from giving an interview. His documentaries and books have been also banned (“Police going berserk in Nepal’s Terai,” Asian Human Rights Commission, 29th July 2015).

Despite such brutal suppression by Nepal Police, Dr. Raut has instructed his supporters to stick to non-violence, and not to submit to police provocations. On 9th January 2015, he announced a ‘rose movement’ and asked all his followers and well-wishers to hand-over roses to police, in retaliation to the force and violence they use.

Acknowledging that the rights to freedom of speech, movement, peaceful assembly and association are the fundamental rights of all human beings everywhere, as also mandated by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), of which Nepal is a signatory, we expect acknowledgement and assurance of the rights to freedom of expression, movement and peaceful assembly from the state and its agencies. We hereby appeal to all to oppose any infringement on fundamental human rights by the Government of Nepal and its agencies as well as to assure the physical safety of Dr. C. K. Raut, his family members and supporters.

Should you need further information, please feel free to let us know. We are very hopeful that you will be responding to this matter in due manner. Thank you very much.

Yours truly,

Asst. Prof. Kailash Mahato
Phone: +977-9847038322
Email: ourmadhesh [at sign] gmail.com
URL: http://madhesh.com,

 

Direct contact details of Dr. C. K. Raut:
C. K. Raut, PhD (Cambridge)
Email: ckraut [at_sign] cantab.net
URL: http://madhesh.com, http://ckraut.com , http://fb.com/drckraut

 

 

Relevant Information:

  1.  A brief introduction to Dr. C. K. Raut:
    http://www.slideshare.net/blackbuddhas/dr-ck-raut-introduction
  2. An introduction to Madhesh/Terai and its issues:
    http://www.slideshare.net/blackbuddhas/madheshtarai-profile
  3. An overview of the arrests, protests and police suppression of Dr. Raut (2014-2015):  http://www.slideshare.net/blackbuddhas/dr-c-k-raut-arrests-protests-and-police-suppression-2015-aug
    https://youtu.be/d8T5BY9n2fQ
    https://youtu.be/BBaS8HvY3vs

 Dr_CK_Raut_1page-a copy Dr_CK_Raut_1page-b Dr_CK_Raut_1page-c

 

Selected International Appeals:

Nepal: Authorities must unconditionally release CK Raut with immediate effect
Amnesty International, 17 October 2014, Index number: ASA 31/007/2014
URL: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa31/007/2014/en/

Nepal: Dissenting Voices at Risk
Amnesty International, 5 December 2014, Index number: ASA 31/008/2014
URL: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa31/008/2014/en/

Nepal: Drop Sedition Charges against Madhesi Activist: Arrest of CK Raut Violates Free Speech Rights
Human Rights Watch, October 14, 2014.
URL: http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/10/14/nepal-drop-sedition-charges-against-madhesi-activist

Regarding Dr Chandra Kant Raut charged with sedition
Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC), 6 November 2014.
URL: http://www.barhumanrights.org.uk/bhrc-sends-open-letter-prime-minister-nepal-response-arrest-and-prosecution-madhesi-activist-chandra

Immediately release Doctor Chandra Kant Raut who have been confined into illegal and arbitrary confinement
Asian Human Rights Commission, September 13, 2014, Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-132-2014
URL: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-132-2014

NEPAL: Mass arrests on eve of SAARC summit
Asian Human Rights Commission, November 29, 2014
URL: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-201-2014

Save Dr. C. K. Raut Campaign
Asian Human Rights Commission,
URL: http://www.humanrights.asia/campaigns/c.k.raut/mainpage


NEPAL
: Fair trial possible for Dr. Raut?
Asian Human Rights Commission, October 14, 2014
URL: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-ART-082-2014

Police intrudes Dr. Raut’s privacy and security keeping him under 24 hours surveillance
Asian Human Rights Commission, July 3, 2015.
URL: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-105-2015

Police going berserk in Nepal’s Terai
Asian Human Rights Commission, July 29, 2015.
URL: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-123-2015

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nepal, Nepal Monthly Report – October 2014, Published on 31 Oct 2014.
http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Monthly%20Report_September%202014.pdf

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nepal, Nepal Monthly Report – October 2014, Published on 31 Oct 2014.
http://reliefweb.int/report/nepal/nepal-monthly-report-october-2014

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