On 6 November 2014, the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) sent an open letter to the Prime Minister of Nepal in response to the arrest and prosecution of Madhesi activist Chandra Kant Raut.

On 14 September 2014, Dr Raut was placed under detention and then subsequently charged for allegedly inciting separatism in the Madhes region of Nepal, an offence that carries a sentence of life imprisonment. On 20 September Dr. Raut began a hunger strike to protest his arrest for denouncing discrimination of marginalised groups and peacefully demanding autonomy for his region. When his condition became critical he was visited in hospital by several members of the government who made both written and oral commitments that the charges would not be proceeded with. However, the following week Dr. Raut was charged with sedition.

The BHRC requests that the Government of Nepal and appropriate institutions call to account the current actions that have led to Dr. Raut’s loss of liberty with a view to securing his release without fear of further arrests. It also calls upon the authorities to ensure the internationally protected right to freedom of expression to all Nepali citizens in order to preserve the rule of law and administration of justice in Nepal.

See the letter here.