[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 6 December, 2004, 07:51 GMT
UN probing Nepal disappearances
Nepal's Maoist rebels
Maoist rebels are accused of torture
A United Nations fact-finding mission has begun an investigation into political disappearances in Nepal.

This follows a sharp rise in the number of people missing in the conflict between the rebels and security forces.

About 9,500 people, many of them civilians, have died since the Maoist insurrection began in 1996.

Human rights groups say Nepal has overtaken Colombia as the country with the highest number of people who have disappeared after being detained.

The UN team will meet relatives of people who have disappeared.

It will raise individual cases and suggest ways of improving matters.

The four-member team is also due to visit a prison and an investigation centre.

Nepal's National Human Rights Commission said recently that it had recorded more than 1,400 cases of people from both sides in the conflict who had disappeared.

The majority of them have reportedly disappeared after they were taken into custody by security forces, say rights groups.

The government denies the allegations.

A Nepalese army spokesman said that more than 1,000 people had been freed from custody after investigations.

He said that some 300 people were still being detained.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific