AI report shows police torturing detainees
- Kailali carnage
Report claims police arrested villagers arbitrarily, tortured and coerced them into signing confessions
Jul 20, 2016-The Amnesty International has revealed police mistreatment of the persons held in connection with the killings of eight security personnel and a child in Tikapur last year.
The incident took place on August 24, 2015 during a protest against the federal boundaries proposed by the government in the run-up to the promulgation of the new constitution.
Police had arrested scores of villagers, prepared a chargesheet against 58 people with murder, attempted murder and robbery. Two of the accused are children, and the trial is pending before the Kailali district court.
The report titled ‘Nepal: Torture and Coerced Confession’ claims police arrested villagers arbitrarily, tortured and coerced them into signing confessions in connection with the killings. “Eighteen of the 19 detainees interviewed said they had been tortured from the moment the police took them into custody,” read the report.
The detainees have reported of beating and torture immediately after arrest. Some said they were thrashed until they fell unconscious. One detainee said that police came to his house, asked for his name and then began to beat him up before putting him into their vehicle.
“The police stopped their vehicle at a police post and beat me up there. Then they stopped at another and hit me there with lathis, rifle butts, whatever they had,” he said.
The detainees interviewed have reported police beating them with bamboo sticks, boots, plastic pipes, and “whatever came to their hand”.
Another detainee said that police did not behave as men. One of the policemen chewed tobacco and spat it in his face.
The Amnesty International has interviewed over 30 people including villagers, government officials, rights workers, teachers and lawyers to prepare the report. In addition, the AI reviewed the copies of legal documents, including the chargesheets, the interim court order, and the submission on behalf of the detainees to the Doti appellate court.
“The Tharu community has long suffered marginalisation and the denial of their human rights in Nepal. These cases are, sadly, not an aberration
but form part of a longstanding pattern of police abuse against the Tharu community,” said Champa Patel, the AI’s South Asia director.
All the detainees said they were then forced to sign “confessions” admitting to their alleged crimes, without even being allowed to read the document. Ram Prasad Chaudhary, a detainee who was subjected to extensive torture, said that the police used force to hold his hand for the “confession” signature.
The rights organisation has urged Nepali authorities to carry out prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigations into the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, coerced confessions and arbitrary arrests.
The detainees were also deprived of their right to health care and the required treatment.
The rights watchdog
has also called on the government to provide redress to the victims of torture and other ill-treatment, which includes an acknowledgment of the harm inflicted to them, as well as rehabilitation, compensation and guarantees of non-repetition.
“These are merely the first steps that Nepal’s authorities must take to begin effacing the shame of this episode. What these allegations underscore is the urgent need for structural reforms to be introduced to once and for all put an end to torture and other police abuses,” said Patel.
Published: 20-07-2016 09:28