Lawyers´ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP) strongly condemns the attempt to murder indigenous rights activist and journalist Gopal Dewan of Dharan in southern Nepal on Sunday.
One of the two unidentified masked men, who came on a motorcycle, had shot and missed Dewan at 7.10 pm in the office of Bishwasta Sutra weekly situated at Chatara Line in Dharan municipality. Dewan, has continuously engaged for advancing indigenous rights, is Sunsari District Coordination Council member of Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) and also associated with Indigenous Peoples´ Human Rights Defenders Network in Nepal. He is also Central Advisor of Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Journalists (FONIJ) and editor of Bishwasta Sutra weekly as well as involved with Blast Times daily.
LAHURNIP concludes that the attempt to murder Dewan constitutes an attack on overall indigenous rights movement and independent journalism in Nepal. It calls on the Government of Nepal, in the strongest terms, to effectively investigate the incident and immediately identify those involved in the shooting and their underlying motives and take stringent actions against them.
In view of increasing attacks on indigenous rights movement and its activists in Nepal in recent times and potential of further increase in such incidents in run up to the forthcoming elections, LAHURNIP urges security forces and concerned state agencies, human rights organizations and international community for continued and stronger protection of the activists.