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EI letter to the ILO concerning Nepal

EI sent a letter to the ILO Labour Standards Deputy Director voicing its concern about the violation of human rights by the Nepalese government. In the letter, EI informed the Deputy Director that 20 teacher and union leaders were detained during a crackdown of a general strike on 6 Apr.

EI requests that the ILO intervenes with the authorities of Nepal to urge that all trade union officials and activists be released with immediate effect.

Below is the content of the letter in English dated 21 Apr 2006:

_________________

Ms. Karen Curtis

Deputy Director of the International

Labour Standards Department,

Responsible for freedom of association

International Labour Office

4, route des Morillons

CH - 1211 Geneva 22

Fax: 41-22 799 76 70

Brussels, 21 April 2006

Dear Ms Curtis,

Education International seeks the support of the ILO to ensure the respect of civil liberties in Nepal.

As you will be aware, Nepalese citizens, including teachers and trade unionists, are the victims of a crackdown by the security forces. On 6 April, a general strike was called for by a wide ranging political coalition which comprises the Nepal National Teachers’ Association (NNTA) and the Nepal Teachers’ Association (NTA) – two EI affiliates which also operate under the joint banner of the Teachers’ Union of Nepal (TUN).

According to information received from EI’s affiliates, at the time of writing, many teachers and officials of the teachers’ unions remain in detention. Here below is a list of those detained whom we know by name: Mr. Keshev Prasad Bhattrai, TUN President; Mr. Chunni Saran Yadav, TUN Vice President; Mr. Mohan Gnwali, NTA President; Mr. Prem Singh Bohara, NTA Vice President; Mr. Madhu Timalsina, NNTA Secretary; Mrs. Kamala Tuladhar, teacher and NNTA member; Mr. Yubaraj Neupane, NTA member; Mr. Ramsaran Ghimire, NNTA member; Mrs. Sabitri Bogati, teacher; Mrs Sita Ojha, teacher; Mr. Kedar Lamichhane, teacher; Mr.Badri Khanal, teacher; Mr. Narayan Datta Paudel, teacher; Mrs. Bishnu Pandey, teacher; Mr.Dilli Sharma, teacher; Mr. Hari BahadurThapa, teacher; Mr. Krishna Paudel, teacher; Mr. Bhimsen Khatri, teacher; Mr. Narayan Nepal, teacher, and Mr. Laxmi Kishor Subedi, teacher.

ILO jurisprudence states that the detention of trade unionists for reasons connected with their activities to defend the interests of workers is contrary to the principles of freedom of association and constitutes a serious interference with civil liberties in general. Moreover the arrest of trade unionists creates an atmosphere of intimidation prejudicial to the sound development of trade union activities.

May we request that the ILO intervenes with the authorities of Nepal to urge that all trade union officials and activists be released with immediate effect.

I look forward to receiving your observations. Thank you for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

Fred van Leeuwen

General Secretary

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