July 13, 2007 / 3:43 AM / 11 years ago

Nepalis begin hunger strike for missing relatives

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Three relatives of people who went missing during Nepal’s decade-long civil war began a hunger strike on Wednesday and said they would fast to death if authorities did not give them information.

The three men sat on a platform in front of Nepal’s parliament building, seeking to know the whereabouts of hundreds of people who they say went missing after being detained by troops during the revolt that began in 1996.

“Their families have been weeping and crying for them for several years but they were not heard,” said Jitman Basnet, sitting under a tree near the high-security parliament complex. “We have no alternative to this.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it has received complaints about 943 people missing in the conflict that killed more than 13,000 people.

Soldiers, police and the Maoists were blamed by human rights groups for abuses including arbitrary detention, abductions, killings and enforced disappearances during the war.

Last week, Nepal’s Supreme Court ordered the government to compensate dozens of families of missing people.

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