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Detainees are often subjected to cruel:Report

26 June 2014

imagesKathmandu: Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment are still common in detention centres, says a report.

The report titled Promising Development – Persistent Problems: Trends and Patterns in Torture in Nepal During 2013 released by Advocacy Forum reveals that at least 16.7 per cent detainees were tortured in the detention centres last year.

The report was released International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

There has been a reduction in reported torture in detention but many persistent problems remain to be addressed, according to the findings. “16.7 per cent of the detainees claimed that they had been subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment during their detention,” states the report, adding that the figure, however, is lower compared to 2012 when 22.3 per cent of the detainees had claimed so.

Torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of juveniles remain a major concern, with 22.9 per cent and 25.7 per cent of juveniles below eighteen and sixteen years of age respectively reporting that they were tortured in detention while 5.7 per cent women in detention reported torture, a rate lower than other groups but still unacceptably high.

According to the report, Banke, Jhapa and Surkhet stand out as districts from where detainees have reported torture more frequently than other districts.

The report is the outcome of first-hand data collected by Advocacy Forum lawyers who had visited 57 detention centres in 20 districts and interviewed 3,662 detainees in 2013. Advocacy Forum has been visiting police detention centres for more than a decade, interviewing detainees, recording accounts of torture and other ill-treatment by state authorities, and helping victims bring cases against perpetrators.

“The report has criticised the recent Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act for being ineffective in guaranteeing victims’ rights. There are major concerns over the excessive willingness of the government to grant amnesty to perpetrators of gross human rights violations, including torture,” stated a press release issued today.

According to it, significant numbers of detainees are not informed about the reason for their arrest or brought before a judicial authority within 24 hours, as required by the constitution.

The report urges the government authorities to implement recommendations recently made by expert bodies, the Committee against Torture and Human Rights Committee for criminalising torture, and to remove the statute of limitation on crimes such as sexual violence and calls on Nepal Police Human Rights Unit to take steps to end the persistent culture of impunity.

Tormenting numbers

• 16.7 per cent of the detainees said they had been subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

• 22.9 per cent juveniles below 18 years of age were tortured in detention

• 25.7 per cent of juveniles below 16 years of age were subjected to torture in detention

• 5.7 per cent women in detention reported torture
Source: The Himalayan Times

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