Despite constitutional guarantee, detainees continue to face torture and ill-treatment at the hands of police, a report saysAround 19.8 percent of the detainees interviewed during the study reported torture or ill-treatment.
Despite constitutional guarantee, detainees continue to face torture and ill-treatment at the hands of the police, according to a report released on Friday.
The report by Advocacy Forum, a rights group, shows 19.8 percent of the detainees interviewed during the study reported torture or ill-treatment. The number, however, is higher among juveniles and women with 24.5 percent and 26.23, respectively. The study was conducted among 1,005 detainees and 269 minors in juvenile correction centres.
“Despite the right against torture guaranteed as a fundamental right under Article 22 of the Constitution of Nepal, he Advocacy Forum has found a continuing prevalence of ill-treatment or torture of detainees at the hands of the police,” reads a statement by the non-government organisation working in the field of human rights. The study also revealed that despite court orders, only 15.22 percent surviours of torture have received compensation while a majority of the rulings were not implemented.
Though the study shows the cases of torture in detention centres have gone down compared to the last year, its prevalence among one fifth of the detainees paints a bleak picture of the country’s human rights commitments and reputation, according to the statement.
In line with the spirit of the constitution, the Penal Code that came into force in 2018 has criminalised torture but its implementation remains weak.
Issuing a separate statement, International Commission of Jurists , Advocacy Forum and Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance have jointly expressed concerns over the authorities’ failure to investigate and prosecute the acts of torture in Nepal.
Nearly two years after provisions in the new Penal Code that criminalized torture came into effect, not a single torture prosecution appears to have been brought, they said.
The three human rights organisations said Nepal has failed to meet its obligations in this regard under article 2(3) of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and Article 14 of the Convention Against Torture.
“Nepal has an obligation under international law to hold perpetrators accountable for acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. This includes obligations as a party to the Convention Against Torture and the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” Frederick Rawski, ICJ Asia-Pacific director, is quoted as saying in the statement. “It is disturbing to see that two years after the rightfully celebrated Penal Code provisions criminalizing torture came into effect, the government has yet to successfully prosecute any acts of torture, which by all accounts continue to occur on a frequent basis.”