Amnesty Nepal calls for urgent, concerted action to prevent custodial deathsRights monitor alleges attorney general and Human Rights Commission of failing in their duties.
Amnesty International Nepal has said that Nepal's authorities must take urgent and concerted actions to prevent custodial deaths through appropriate legal accountability measures.
Issuing a statement on Tuesday, during the launch of the organisation's 2021 edition of the global campaign called Write for Rights, the rights organisation pointed out that incidents of deaths in police custody have continued with the authorities continuously failing to carry out independent and credible investigations.
Earlier in January, four UN special rapporteurs had expressed serious concerns over the continued incidents of custodial deaths and the lack of accountability measures.
"The rising cases of reported custodial deaths is worrisome. No one should die in the safety of the state. Once detained, it is the state’s responsibility to protect the lives of the detainees,” said Nirajan Thapaliya, Director of Amnesty International Nepal. “In case they die in custody, there should be a fair, impartial and independent investigation into the incident with promptness upholding accountability and ensuring effective remedies to the families of the victims,” he said.
The organisation, in its statement, has pointed out that incidents of torture and ill-treatment in custody often resulting in deaths continue despite the new National Penal (Code) Act criminalising torture for the first time in Nepal.
“No one should be subjected to any form of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment under any circumstances. We call on the government for adopting administrative, judicial and other measures to prevent such deaths in custody,” said Thapaliya.
The rights organisation also said that the Office of Attorney General and National Human Rights Commission, the two prominent authorities mandated by the Constitution of Nepal 2015 to monitor detention centres and prisons, have failed to fulfil their duties in view of the continuity of rising deaths in custody.
According to the statement, the organisation, through the ‘Write for Rights’ campaign, plans to call upon Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and the concerned agencies to launch a set of actions to ensure that those in detention enjoy human rights. The statement further calls for those guilty of inflicting torture and causing subsequent deaths of detainees to be held accountable.