UN agency saddened by death of Nepalese human rights defender

The United Nations Human Rights Office in Nepal (OHCHR) has expressed its sadness over the death of the Nepalese human rights defender Jay Kishore Labh, describing him as a determined man who pursued justice tirelessly despite personal ill-health.“Jay Kishore Labh was a sensitive and determined man who, despite health problems that were almost certainly exacerbated by the anguish of his loss and his outrage at ongoing impunity, fought courageously to obtain justice for his son and others who were disappeared,” Richard Bennett, OHCHR representative in Nepal, said in a statement yesterday.“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to his family on behalf of OHCHR and once again call on the authorities in the Home Ministry to disclose the fate of the disappeared students in Danusha and bring to justice those responsible,” he added.Mr. Labh’s son, Sanjiv Kumar Karn, disappeared in October 2003 along with four other students after police arrested them. They have never been found. Mr. Labh, a lawyer, fought tirelessly as he demanded disclosure of the fate of the disappeared students and insisted that those responsible for their disappearance to brought to justice.The case has become emblematic for many victims and human rights defender organizations, including OHCHR. When the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visited Nepal last year, she met with Mr. Labh and other family members of the disappeared.Ms. Pillay also met with the superintendent of police in charge of Danusha district and urged him to complete the investigation into the disappearance of the five students. OHCHR has continued to follow up on the case, along others.The fate of most of those who were disappeared by the State and by the then Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) during the country’s civil war remains unknown, despite repeated requests for clarification by their families and human rights organizations. 19 April 2010The United Nations Human Rights Office in Nepal (OHCHR) has expressed its sadness over the death of the Nepalese human rights defender Jay Kishore Labh, describing him as a determined man who pursued justice tirelessly despite personal ill-health. read more