UN Day against Torture : Torture rampant in Nepal: NHRC

Kathmandu, June 26:

Government authorities, including jails, detention centres and investigating authorities, are notorious for torturing inmates, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

today said.

“Torture is rampant in government authorities and there is an urgent need for regular inspection of such illegal activities by national and international bodies,” NHRC chief commissioner Kedar Nath Upadhyaya said today.

Upadhyaya said torture was rampant in jails and detention centres and the public prosecutors had also been found torturing people in the name of investigation.

“What is worse is that court verdicts in this regard are not effectively implemented,” he said while talking at an interaction organised to mark the UN Day against Torture.

He also called the government to ratify the Optional Protocol of the UN Convention Against Torture, 1984, to end torture in the country.

“The country recorded the most number of cases of torture during the conflict. The principle of ‘might is right’ prevailed then,” he added.

Human rights activist Hemang Sharma said people do not approach NHRC to complain against torture meted out by any government authority.

Detaining in toilets, beating up, preventing from going to toilet, administering drugs, keeping blindfolded and sexual harassment are some forms of torture meted out by the government authorities, he said.

“The judicial system of keeping the burden of proof on the accused should be reformed,” acting deputy attorney general Kumar Chudal, said.

Senior Human Rights Officer at OHCHR-Nepal Jillian Kitley called on the governemnt to promulgate a separate law criminalising torture.