Annual Report: Nepal 2011

Report
May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Nepal 2011

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  • On 13 June, 20-year-old Advesh Kumar Mandal of Janakpur was shot dead by the police. He was alleged to be a member of Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM), a Terai-based armed group.

Torture and other ill-treatment

Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees by police persisted. National laws providing safeguards against torture fell short of international standards, and remained inadequately implemented.

  • On 25 May, Sanu Sunar, a Dalit aged 46, died from injuries sustained in police custody at the Kalimati Police Station after he was arrested for theft. The NHRC said Sanu Sunar died as a result of police torture and recommended legal action. On 24 June, the Kathmandu District Court ordered the detention of three policemen suspected of abuses against Sanu Sunar, but investigations made little progress.

Abuses by armed groups

Over 100 mainly Terai-based armed groups continued to commit human rights abuses, including abductions, assaults and killings. Some groups had identifiable political or religious orientations, others functioned as criminal gangs.

  • JTMM-Rajan Mukti members shot and killed Lal Kishor Jha, aged 50, an employee of the Mahottari District Education Office on 28 October in Janakinagar as he left his home. He was shot, twice from behind, for his alleged involvement in the sale of Guthi land (land given as a religious endowment) and financial irregularities at the District Education Office.

Discrimination

Dalits, Indigenous Peoples, disabled people, religious and sexual minorities suffered social exclusion, despite legal recognition of their equal rights. Legislative efforts to combat gender inequality did little to curtail discrimination against women in public and private life. Women, particularly Dalit women, faced obstacles in relation to access to justice, asset and property ownership, inheritance, income and employment conditions, and political representation.

There was some progress in the courts' approach to caste discrimination. In August, the Kanchanpur Appellate Court upheld two separate district court convictions, made in January and March respectively, of two men for attacks against Dalits that were motivated by caste discrimination.

Violence against women and girls

Nepal's quest to "end violence against women in 2010" had little visible impact. In the first half of the year, over 300 domestic violence cases were reported to police in the Kathmandu valley alone; many more went unreported. Women accused of witchcraft (typically poor, isolated or Dalit) were assaulted and tortured by community members. Legislative weakness and inadequate policing obstructed prosecution of domestic and sexual violence cases.

  • In early 2010, men from a village in Siraha district where a rape had occurred prevented staff members of the Women's Rehabilitation Centre accompanying women witnesses from reaching the court to testify; the accused was found not guilty.

Young Nepalese women sought economic opportunities abroad. Poor regulation, poor implementation of existing laws and corruption all contributed to the exploitation of those travelling abroad for work.