National Human Rights Commission urges government to save the lives of youths staging hunger-strikeTwo youths representing the “Enough is Enough” campaign are staging-second round of indefinite hunger strike after the government failed to act as per the agreement made with them earlier this month.
The National Human Rights Commission has raised concerns for the lives of two youths who have been staging a hunger strike for the past nine days demanding that the government implement the agreement pledging to handle the Covid-19 pandemic more effectively.
On July 7, the Ministry of Health and Population had signed a 12-point agreement with the spontaneously formed youth-led campaign, Enough is Enough, committing to expand the range of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, placing all people entering the country from abroad in five days quarantine before allowing them to self quarantine at home, and financial transparency in Covid-19 spending, among others.
The agreement was reached following a series of protests that began in Kathmandu on June 9 against the government's poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The protests had culminated into a hunger strike, which ended after 12 days when the government agreed to address the concerns raised by the protesters.
The government, however, reneged on the agreement, prompting the campaign representatives to once again start an indefinite hunger strike.
Two youths, including the organiser of the movement, began their strike on July 18.
The government has been claiming that all the demands raised by the protesters have already been fulfilled.
The national human rights watchdog on Sunday issued a statement urging the government to hold meaningful dialogue and implement the earlier agreement forged with the agitating youths.
“A team from the commission visited Basantapur where the youths are staging their protest and found that the health condition of one of the protesters, Samira Shrestha, who has been staging the hunger strike for the past nine days has been deteriorating,” read the statement. “We urge the government to be empathetic towards the health of the protesters and hold meaningful dialogue and implement the earlier forged agreement.”
The commission has also urged the agitating group not to opt for harsh means of protest like indefinite hunger-strike but to stress more on dialogues in order to put forth their demands.