Interview with Maoist Student in Nepal: "Many have died in detention"
Revolution #025, December 4, 2005, posted at revcom.us
The US supports the Gyanendra Monarchy in its brutal counter-insurgency against the People's War in Nepal and has provided the Royal Nepalese Army with money, training and weapons.
Krishna Khatri Chhetri, also known as Krishna K.C., is the former vice-president of the Maoist student organzation, the All Nepal National Independent Student Union (Revolutionary). He was arrested without a warrant in Kathmandu, on September 13, 2003 by army personnel in civilian clothes. In early 2004, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) reported that K.C. was being held in the Bairabnath army barracks and was in poor health. But the army repeatedly obstructed attempts to locate Krishna K.C. and denied he was in army detention. On October 19, 2005, Krishna K.C. was released on the orders of the Supreme Court, on the basis that his detention was illegal. But police re-arrested him as he left the court with lawyers, journalists and other human rights defenders present.
The following interview with Krishna KC interview was published by the Nepali-language weekly Prakash on September 26. The English translation was done by Nepali Times.
Maoist student leader Krishna KC has been detained for 25 months in the army barracks. Despite being released by the Supreme Court, police rearrested him and the District Appellate Court of Patan instructed that he be kept in police custody for 20 days. KC was interviewed in detention and had a speech impediment, which he said was caused by torture in detention.
What did they do after they arrested you?
I was blindfolded and kept in a dark room. Then they started asking about the whereabouts of Baburam and Prachanda [top leaders of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)]. They interrogated me for two hours and tortured me brutally. When I fainted they beat me mercilessly. There were blood clots all over my body. There were hundreds of detainees. In Bhairabnath, I met 225 prisoners on my way to the toilet. I could hear screams of tortured prisoners in every barrack.
How were you tortured?
Its not possible to talk about all the mental and physical torture. Many have died as a result. I was electrocuted and hit on the face until I bled. The worst torture was being blindfolded for two years. For twenty-two months they tied my hands behind my back and kept me blindfolded. I was kept at Bhairabnath, Yudha Bhairab and Ranger Battalion. These are the main barracks where people are tortured and killed.
What role did human rights activists play when you were in the barracks?
Officials from the NHRC, UN High Commission and ICRC visited me. Whenever news about a detainee is published in the press, that person is moved to another detention place where he is tortured severely. When I was taken from Bhairabnath to Yudha Bhairab I was taken to the jungle, put in a sack and beaten. A prisoner named Khadka Buda died asking for water. He was not a Maoist. Padam Nakarmi died the same way. I spent days eating rice grains from the floor.
Did they torture you after news about you became public?
They kicked me while reading the news from Amnesty International and Kantipur. When the papers wrote about Matrika Yadab and Suresh Ale Magar they were also tortured. Matrika Yadab is still very ill. Both are in the Ranger Battalion in Chhauni.
How would you describe the attitude of the security forces?
They have said openly they will not spare anyone. A general by the name of Biplab Gurung told me that I was lucky. When I was arrested I was the Kathmandu Valley bureau chief. When I was taken in, there were hundreds of detainees in the hall but very few were real Maoists. They end up torturing and killing hundreds of innocent civilians.