Asian Centre for Human Rights

Dedicated to promotion and protection of human rights in Asia

 
ACHR PRESS RELEASE
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ACHR Index: PR/NEP/14/05
2 November 2005

UN Torture Committee urged to investigate in Nepal

New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights in its shadow report, Torture in Nepal: A Case for Investigation by CAT, to the second report of the government of Nepal today urged the UN Committee Against Torture to visit Nepal. The UN Committee Against Torture will examine the report of the government of Nepal in its 35th session from 7 to 25 November 2005.

“Nepal is the only country in South Asia where torture is not defined as a criminal offence under any domestic law. The systematic use of torture has further aggravated since the Royal takeover on 1 February 2005. It is a fit case of visit by the UN Committee Against Torture under Article 20 of the Convention.” -  stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

The shadow report states that the 1996 Compensation Relating to Torture Act of Nepal has failed to combat torture which is authorised by higher authorities. Since the Act came into force in 1996, compensation has actually been paid out only in one case to date, despite several decisions by the courts.

Prolong preventive detention under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Ordinance, Public Security Act and Public Offences Act facilitate torture.

The Tibetan refugees have been consistently refouled in clear violation of the Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture which prohibits forcible return of refugees where they may face torture.  On 21 January 2005, the government of Nepal closed down the Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office, thereby further increasing their risks.

The prisoners are forced to live in inhumane and degrading conditions. The prisons are overcrowded with prisoners having to take turns to take bath or to go to the toilet or to sleep. In Kharipati Electricity Training Center in Bhaktapur, there was only one toilet to be used by 60 detainees including females. The stoppage of the visit to the prisons and detention centres by the International Committee of the Red Cross following imposition of unacceptable conditions by the RNA has further worsened the situation.

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