Human rights defender
Lenin is a human rights defender from Nepal who works as Chairman for the Discharged People’s Liberation Army Nepal (D-PLAN) and leading his newly registered organization named Peace Envisioners. At D-Plan, Lenin is leading the Discharged People’s Liberation Army Struggle Committee. Together with his colleagues, Lenin is demanding the fair treatment of the discharged child soldiers and removal of the label of ‘unqualified’ that was given to discharged child soldier during the integration process. They have been further demanding the rehabilitation of those child soldiers who are now adults, with financial support and dignified recognition for serving the liberation of people during the war. Lenin is a former child soldier himself. He was recruited in the Maoist People’s Liberation Army to fight in the insurgency when he was 12 years old. He served the party for a period of seven years before the party signed a peace deal with the government in 2006. Currently, Lenin is also involved in demanding justice for his peers and lobbying for social justice and awareness in the hinterlands of the Western region, Terai and the Eastern Hills. Moreover, Lenin has been inviting former child soldiers and other vulnerable young people to share their stories, to play football matches, to sing and to take a moment to breathe.
Human rights violations in Nepal
Over 2973 minors were coercively recruited during Nepal’s civil war. Twenty years later, they are still excluded from Nepal’s transitional justice system . Because they spent their childhood fighting, many former child soldiers are uneducated and have a hard time finding employment. Moreover, they often face significant community stigmatization. Even after the promulgation of the constitution in 2015 and major elections in 2017, the government has not been able to deal with the cases of major human rights violations and failed to maintain overall security .
Threats and harassment
Due to his human rights work, Lenin has been receiving regular threats, attacks and persecutions over the last years. The government has tried to silence Lenin several times and has faced false allegations. The office of D-PLAN and Lenin’s house has been vandalized and computers were stolen. In 2012 he was kidnapped and in 2013 was arrested with the fake accusation of being involved in illegally operating a call bypass, leading to a years imprisonment. In August 2018, Lenin was barred from flying to a conference on youth in conflict areas in Bangkok. Lenin has filed a case in court against the government, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Department of Immigration and several others since the travel ban. After filing the case, Lenin has been receiving constant threats by telephone, email and social media.