Annual Report: Nepal 2010

Report
May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Nepal 2010

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Abuses by armed groups

Over 100 armed groups operated in Nepal's Terai region and committed human rights abuses, including abductions of members of the Pahadi (hill) community and bomb attacks on public places.

  • On 9 April, police shot and killed Parasuram Kori, after members of the leftist Terai-based armed group Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM-J) fired at a police patrol team. The victim's mother said that her son and two others had been abducted by the JTMM-J three days earlier.

The Young Communist League, the youth wing of the CPN-M, were also responsible for killings, assaults and abductions.

Child soldiers

Over 2,500 former child soldiers remained in cantonments (military areas where, under the Comprehensive Peace Accord, the CPN-M had agreed to be quartered). In July, the government announced plans to discharge them and more than 1,000 "illegal recruits" inducted after 2006, a process that was to finish by November. But the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a discharge and rehabilitation plan, which remained stalled as of mid- October. Releases had not commenced by the end of the year, but were announced for early January 2010.

Torture and other ill-treatment

National laws providing safeguards against torture fell short of international standards, and remained inadequately implemented.

  • In July, police tortured Bhakta Rai and Sushan Limbu after the latter was arrested on a minor charge in Urlabari, south-eastern Nepal. Police beat them in a jail cell, then stripped them to their underwear in the street, assaulted them with iron rods and forced them to crawl on their knees and elbows over stony ground. Both sustained serious injuries. Following a successful court petition, the men were granted access to lawyers and provided with medical care, but officers involved in their torture were not suspended, and no investigation was launched.

Violence against women and girls

Women human rights defenders were threatened, assaulted and killed. Dowry deaths and sexual violence continued. Legislative weakness and inadequate policing obstructed prosecution of domestic and sexual violence cases. Police refused to record cases of violence against women, or to provide information to women human rights defenders on the status of investigations.

  • Uma Singh, a journalist for Radio Today FM and member of the Women's Human Rights Defender Network, was attacked on 11 January by a group of armed men. She was severely mutilated and died on her way to hospital in Kathmandu.

In August, Amnesty International launched an action demanding that the Prime Minister ensure accountability in the case of Maina Sunuwar, a 15- year-old girl who was tortured to death by members of the Nepal Army in February 2004. In December, one of the accused, Major Niranjan Basnet, was expelled from a UN peacekeeping mission and repatriated to Nepal. Amnesty International called on the Nepal army to hand him over to civilian authorities.

The government stalled ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court despite a commitment from Nepal's then Minister of Foreign Affairs. In July, Amnesty International submitted more than 13,000 appeal letters to the new Minister of Foreign Affairs Sujata Koirala, calling for the government to proceed with ratification. The Minister agreed to begin the process, but by year's end no progress had been made.