Torture briefing, Jan-Jun 2011

During the reporting period from January 2011 to June 2011, which coincided with Nepal’s first report under the Human Rights Council’s Universal Period Review process, AF has recorded a significant overall increase in the percentage of torture from 22.5% in the previous six months to 25%.

Advocacy Forum lawyers interviewed 2268 detainees in 57 detention centres. Among them were 217 (9.6%) women and 2051 (90.4%) men. Of them, 567 detainees (25%) have claimed that they were subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Among the women detainees, 32 (14.7%) claimed they were subjected to torture and ill-treatment, as opposed to 535 (26.1%) of men.

This increase is thought to be related to the ongoing political instability in the country and increases in activities of armed groups in different districts of the Terai region. An analysis of the crimes for which torture victims were arrested also shows the very high rate of torture reported by people arrested under charges such as kidnapping (43.9%), robbery (43.5%), theft (40.4%), arson (37.5%) and arms and ammunitions (35.3%).

It is very worrying that while the Government of Nepal assures the international community that any cases of torture are isolated incidents, and that “there are sufficient constitutional and legal safeguards for the prevention of torture in Nepal”, reports of torture in the districts visited by AF continues to rise.

During January to June 2011, AF lawyers interviewed 2268 detainees in 57 detention centres. Among them were 217 (9.6%) women and 2051 (90.4%) men. Of them, 567 detainees (25.0%) have claimed that they were subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Among the women detainees, 32 (14.7%) claimed they were subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, as opposed to 535 (26.1%) of men.

During this period, there was a significant increase in the percentage of torture of female detainees reporting they were tortured: from 25 (13.3%) during July to December 2010 to 32 (14.7%). The 32 women who claimed they had been tortured had been severely beaten by investigating officers and had been treated without consideration for the rights and needs of women as a particularly vulnerable group.

Download Advocacy Forum’s full report

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