The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the human right body of the United Nation (UN), on Tuesday issued a statement from Geneva over serious human rights violations in Nepal. In this post, we urge our valued readers to compare the presentation of the statement by Nepali mainstream media and the original version by OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani.
A National English Daily The Kathmandu Post presents the statement this way.
— The Kathmandu Post (@kathmandupost) November 25, 2015
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has called for an end to the obstruction of essential supplies to Nepal, and urged parties on either side of the Nepal-India border to ensure smooth supply of essentials.
Another leading national English daily Republica writes the news based on the statement this way.
— myRepública (@RepublicaNepal) November 25, 2015
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has emphasized that any obstruction of essential supplies and services is a serious violation of international human rights law, including the right to life.
“We call on all parties involved on both sides of the Nepal-India border to immediately ensure effective, safe and rapid passage of supplies,” said OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani in a statement issued from Geneva on Tuesday.
Republica and The Kathmandu Post (TKP) downplayed the most serious HR violations, which is the main agenda of OHCHR. These newspapers implied that the most important agenda of the OHCHR statement is the movement of goods, not people being shot and beaten by police. The HR violation issues should be in the headline, not buried in the body. To be fair and balanced in reporting about OHCHR, they should have prioritize the issue, which was prioritized by OHCHR.
Look at the presentation of the UN statement by The Himalayan Times. It tries to strike a balance to some extent.
OHCHR concerned over Tarai violence; urges stakeholders in Nepal, India to ensure passage of supplies – https://t.co/RVoAMtNG4B
— The Himalayan Times (@thehimalayan) November 24, 2015
Expressing concerns over the latest violence in Tarai region of Nepal, the United Nations Human Rights stated that obstruction of essential supplies and services is a serious violation of international human rights law.
Now, let’s compare the Nepali media’s coverage of the statement with international news agency AFP’s story in Yahoo News.
— Ammu Kannampilly (@akannampilly) November 25, 2015
The AFP begins: The United Nations on Tuesday called for an independent probe into deadly unrest in Nepal sparked by a controversial new constitution, with 50 killed since violence first erupted in August.
“There is a clear need for an independent investigation to establish the facts and to bring all perpetrators of violence to justice,” UN rights agency spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told journalists in Geneva.
She said the United Nations had confirmation of at least four people being killed in clashes over the weekend, after initial reports of two dead.
The UN rights agency has also received reports of protesters at the weekend throwing stones at police, who responded with live ammunition.
Separately, the UN has received allegations that police stormed the Sagarmatha hospital where victims of the unrest were being treated and assaulted patients and hospital staff, Shamdasani said.
“We have been urging Nepalese authorities to ensure that existing … standards on the appropriate use of force are fully respected,” she told reporters.
“Unfortunately, reports suggest that these steps do not appear to have been taken,” she added, while calling on protesters to also renounce violence.
Let’s read the full version of OHCHR Press Briefing – Nepal, 24 November 2015
We are alarmed by reports that at least four people have been killed and many injured, from both sides, in violent clashes over the weekend during protests in the Terai area of southern Nepal. The latest killings bring to at least 50 the death toll since protests against the new Constitution began in August this year.
There is conflicting information about how the events unfolded late Saturday night, particularly about how the violence began. Reports suggest that protestors in front of the district police station in Saptari district pelted stones and used other violence against the police, who then responded with the use of live ammunition. We have also received allegations that after protesters were taken to nearby Sagarmatha zonal hospital for treatment, police entered the hospital and assaulted the protestors and hospital staff. There is a clear need for an independent investigation to establish the facts and to bring all perpetrators of violence to justice. We have been urging Nepalese authorities to ensure that existing national and international standards on the appropriate use of force are fully respected by security forces. Unfortunately, reports suggest that these steps do not appear to have been taken and more lives have been lost. The protestors must also renounce the use of violence.
In addition to 50 deaths, many more individuals have been injured, prevented from working, prevented from going to school or from receiving essential medical treatment.
The protesters, from ethnic Madeshi groups, have been demanding that their concerns be addressed in the Constitution. They have been conducting a campaign of strikes and obstructions along the border between India and Nepal. On 8 November, the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal issued a report on this crisis and noted that the shortage of fuel, cooking gas, medicine, food and essential goods has deeply affected life in the country. We stress that any obstruction of essential supplies and services is a serious violation of international human rights law, including the right to life. We call on all parties involved on both sides of the Nepal-India border to immediately ensure effective, safe and rapid passage of supplies.
We have been urging all parties to engage in a meaningful, inclusive and open dialogue, to create a climate where minority and dissenting views are respected. We call on the authorities to work with the National Human Rights Commission to ensure that the concerns of the protestors are heard and constructive solutions are found. It is crucial that all parties involved work together towards a fair and sustainable resolution of this situation.
Here at the end of the post, we urge our valued readers to draw conclusion of Nepali Media’s position at a time when they are reportedly called biased against Madhes or Tarai. They have yet to stress on properly reporting on serious human rights violations in Tarai/Madhes.
We hope to receive your comments to conclude this post. Thank you in advance.