South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), a network of human rights defenders based in seven countries in South Asia, is deeply concerned about the arrest and detention of Mr. Kanak Mani Dixit, an eminent journalist and pro-democracy and human rights activist, by the Commission of Investigation on Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on 22 April. Reportedly he has been detained for the alleged charges of illegally amassing property by abusing authority.
SAHR would like to emphasise the crucial role played by Mr. Kanak Dixit in his capacity as a journalist with a conscience in upholding democracy and the rule of law at regional level. He has always stood up for promoting social justice not only in his native Nepal but manipulated his presence as a South Asian to influence sustenance of democratic values in the region. With this arrest and detention of the publisher of Himal Magazine and the Nepali Times, SAHR also apprehensive to learn about the numerous ways and means adopted by the regional governments in the recent times to curtail freedom of expression and abuse press freedom.
SAHR urges the government of Nepal to take immediate action for the release of Mr. Kanak Dixit. SAHR urges that the condition of his detention be made public immediately. Reminding the Government of Nepal of all its responsibilities under national law and of its obligations under international law, SAHR calls upon the Government to give lawyers and human rights bodies full access to Mr. Dixit in order that his physical and psychological integrity is safeguarded. SAHR urges the civil society in general and the human rights community in Nepal in particular to monitor the situation of Mr. Dixit continuously and to make all appropriate interventions to secure his release and his safety while in custody.
On behalf of the members of South Asians for Human Rights
Dr. Nimalka Fernando