UNPO Condemns Arrest of AIM Coordinator Dr CK Raut and Calls for Immediate Release
On 8 October 2018, Dr CK Raut, central coordinator of UNPO Member the Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM) was arrested at the Rautahat District Court premises in Gaur along with his 4-year old daughter and 16 supporters.
Dr Raut was in Gaur for regular court attendance when he was arrested. supporters of Dr Raut were violently arrested while peacefully demonstrating the arrest outside the premises.
The Madheshi are the inhabitants of the Terai region in the South of Nepal. The region was given to Nepal by the East India Company in two parts in 1816 and 1860. Ever since, the region has faced discrimination by the Nepalese government, which has increased the support for more autonomy. Dr Raut and the AIM are promoting the right to self-determination and freedom of expression for all Madheshi. Their active and outspoken efforts to end discrimination, violence and suppression of fundamental rights have frequently led to Dr Raut and AIM supporters and activists being targeted by Nepali authorities. Dr Raut has previously been absolved by the supreme court of Nepal of sedition charges of which he and his supporters are often accused.
AIM and UNPO are yet to receive an explanation for the arrest, which indicates that the police are acting arbitrarily and extra-judicially.
Dr Raut's 4-year old daughter, Rebati, is ill and needs medical treatment. Dr Raut has requested her to be sent to Jankapur for medical check-up, which has been refused by authorities.
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization calls upon the corresponding district administration to immediately and unconditionally release Dr Raut, his daughter and supporters.