93 Urge Release of Ex-Prime Minister
Appeal Sent to Nepal
Daniel Bell, professor of Sociology, is among 93 people who signed an appeal seeking the release from a Nepal jail of B. P. Koirala, former prime minister of Nepal, a spokesman for Social Democrats, USA said testerday.
The appeal was sent to King Birendra of Nepal last month by Social Democrats, Paul Gershman, executive director of the organization, said yesterday.
Koirala, who was prime minister of Nepal from 1959 until a royal takeover in 1960 abolished the constitutional monarchy, spent eight years in a Nepalese jail.
He was subsequently exiled to India after he continued to speak out against the Nepalese government and refused to sign a formal apology to the king.
Koirala returned to Nepal in December 1976 and was arrested on charges of treason, inciting to murder, arson and sedition. Each of these charges is punishable by death, Gershman said.
The Nepalese government temporarily released the former prime minister from prison in June so he could obtain treatment in the United States for cancer. "His health is very bad," Gershman said.
Bell said yesterday he signed the appeal after reading material, sent to him by Social Democrats, describing Koirala's imprisonment and poor health.
Bell has advocated human rights in the past, but does not know how effective the appeal for Koirala's release would be, he said yesterday. Bell said, "Countries may be responsive to pressures of this kind" because of the recent attention given to the human rights issue.
A New York Times article reported last week that Richard E. Pipes, professor of History, also signed the appeal, but Pipes yesterday denied having done so.
Gershman said he is confident that the appeal will have a direct benefit on the release of Koirala.
P. L. Shrestha, a spokesman for the Nepalese embassy, refused to comment yesterday on the appeal by the Social Democrats.
Archibald Macleish, an associate of Leverett House and a well-known poet, is also concerned with Koirala. He sent a letter to the Nepalese government earlier this year urging Koirala's release.
Macleish preferred sending a personal message to the Nepalese government rather than voicing his opinion as part of a large group, he said yesterday.