India: Obstacles to freedom of movement and subsequent deportation of Mr. Mukunda Raj Kattel

22/12/2017
Urgent Appeal

IND 005 / 1217 / OBS 119
Arbitrary arrest / Release /
Obstacles to freedom of movement
India
December 22, 2017

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in India.

Brief description of the information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about obstacles to freedom of movement and subsequent deportation of Mr. Mukunda Raj Kattel, Director of the Regional Secretariat of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia) [1], based in Bangkok, Thailand.

According to the information received, on December 20, 2017, around 12am, Mr. Mukunda Raj Kattel was detained by the immigration department upon his arrival at Trichirapalli International Airport, Tamil Nadu State, India. No reason was given for his detention.

Mr. Mukunda Raj Kattel was travelling to India to visit friends during his Christmas holidays, including Mr. Henri Tiphagne, Executive Director of People’s Watch, member of OMCT’s Executive Committee and former Chairperson of Forum-Asia. It is worth mentioning that as a Nepali citizen, Mr. Kattel does not require a visa to enter India.

Mr. Kattel was subsequently informed that he would be deported back to Thailand. During his detention, he was not allowed to meet with a lawyer.

At around 10.30pm on December 20, 2017, Mr. Mukunda Raj Kattel was deported back to Thailand via Malaysia after being detained for more than 18 hours by the immigration department at Trichirapalli International Airport.

The Observatory strongly condemns Mr. Mukunda Kattel’s arbitrary arrest and subsequent deportation, which seems to only aim at sanctioning his legitimate human rights activities in the region, and calls upon the Indian authorities to guarantee in all circumstances the freedoms of movement, peaceful assembly and association of all human rights defenders in India.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in India, urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the freedom of movement of Mr. Mukunda Raj Kattel and of all human rights defenders in India;

ii. Put an end to any harassment against all human rights defenders in India, and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance and fear of reprisals;

iii. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, in particular with Articles 1, 5(b) and 12.2;

iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by India.

Addresses:

· Mr. Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi, Prime Minister of India, Fax: + 91 11 2301 6857. E-mail: pmosb@pmo.nic.in / manmo@sansad.in
· Mr. Raj Nath Singh, Union Minister of Home Affairs of India, Fax: +91 11 2309 2979. Email: dirfcra-mha@gov.in
· Mr. Rajiv Gauba, Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs of India, Email: hshso@nic.in
· Justice Dipak Misra, Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court, of India, Fax: +91 11 233 83792, Email: supremecourt@nic.in
· Justice Shri H.L. Dattu, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of India, Fax +91 11 2465 1329. Email: chairnhrc@nic.in
· Mr. Srinivasa Kammath, Focal Point on Human Rights Defenders, National Human Rights Commission of India, Email: hrd-nhrc@nic.in
· H.E. Mr. Rajiv Kumar Chander, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 906 86 96, Email: mission.india@ties.itu.int
· H.E. Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri, Embassy of India to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 6489638 / +32 2 6451869

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of India located in your country.

***
Geneva-Paris, December 22, 2017

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
• E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
• Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
• Tel and fax FIDH: + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

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