Concern for safety of Nepalese lawyer

Who we wrote to

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

What’s the issue

We’ve sent a letter to Nepalese authorities to express concern about the safety of Badri Bhusal, a Nepalese lawyer and human rights defender. He is chair of the Collective Campaign for Peace, a national network of 43 peace and human rights non-governmental organisations from 29 districts in Nepal.

Mr Bhusal has represented clients in high-profile cases, reported on prison conditions, and advocated against the use of torture by the police.

His security situation has worsened because he represented victims in a case involving the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta, a 14-year-old schoolgirl. There were serious deficiencies in the police investigation, and eight police officers have been charged concerning cover-up of facts.

What we asked for

With Lawyers For Lawyers, we’ve called on the Nepalese authorities to:

  • promptly investigate all threats of intimidation and harassment against Badri Bhusal
  • bring the perpetrators in the Nirmala Panta case to justice in proceedings that respect international fair trial standards
  • take all reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of other lawyers, human rights defenders and witnesses involved in the case
  • provide guarantees that the state and its security forces will not interfere in the legitimate activities of Mr Bhusal and other human rights defenders

Timeline

26 July 2018 – Nirmala Panta was raped and murdered in the Kanchanpur District, Nepal

August 2018 – Mr Bhusal represented victims in the Nirmala Panta case, and has since been threatened and harassed

20 February 2019 – a police superintendent accused Mr Bhusal of working against the police and advised him to stop his involvement in the case

19 April 2019 – Mr Bhusal was told that he was taking risks to his personal security by his continued