Nepal anti-graft body urged to follow procedures

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New York, May 4 (IANS) Nepal’s Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of Authority (CIAA) should scrupulously follow the Supreme Court order to abide by procedures while probing prominent journalist Kanak Mani Dixit, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court ordered Dixit’s release on May 2, after he was held for 10 days on an arrest warrant issued by the CIAA.

The CIAA arrested Dixit on April 22, claiming that he had refused to cooperate with its investigation into possible corruption.

Dixit provided evidence that he had responded to the CIAA. A special CIAA court on April 24 then remanded Dixit into judicial custody pending further investigation.

While in custody, Dixit had serious health problems that required hospitalization. After his release, he was admitted to intensive care.

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“The Supreme Court’s order to release Dixit once again shows that the country’s highest court stands as the last guardian against executive overreach and the breakdown of the rule of law,” Human Rights Watch said.

“While the CIAA has every right to conduct its investigations independently, it must do so without abusing its own extraordinary authority, especially on detention, and comply with this directive from the country’s highest court.”

Dixit is a long-standing critic of successive Nepali governments. He has advocated the cause of victims of Nepal’s civil war, criticizing the government and political parties for failing to hold perpetrators of abuses accountable.

Dixit is a key member of Accountability Watch Committee, a leading NGO working to find justice for war crimes and related abuses.

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In 2006 Dixit was arrested by order of then King Gyanendra for objecting to the king’s unconstitutional usurpation of power and the suspension of Nepal’s nascent democracy.



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