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    Nepal sees a hike in rights violations

    Civil societyNepal sees a hike in rights violations
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    Nepal sees a hike in rights violations

    INSEC-Nepal has documented 6,285 victims of human rights violence and abuses in 2021. There were 5,163 cases of women and 560 cases of men among the reported instances of victims of human rights abuses.

    Intimidation, torture, violence, murder, rapes, abuse, deaths in custody of the State or the violation of rights to assembly or right to free expression or the right to association – data from the past year put together by Kathmandu-based INSEC Nepal tells the grim story of the human rights situation in the country.

    INSEC’s detailed break-up of the victims of human rights violation includes, among many, 74 deaths in jail and five in detention, besides victims of torture, intimidation or threats, arrests and sheer violence or beating and sustaining injuries.

    Civil liberties

    And, while COVID-19 grabbed public attention through the year, there were 363 instances of people being deprived of their right to assembly, free expression and association. There were also instances that pass off as inhumane behaviour (for want of a more appropriate language for being stigmatised, discriminated or being meted out undignified treatment).

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    Among the documented cases of human rights violations and abuses, 16 per cent were from Province 1 (also referred to as Koshi or Purbanchal), 11 per cent from Madhesh Province, 17 per cent from Bagmati Province, eight per cent from Gandaki Province, 23 per cent from Lumbini Province, seven per cent from Karnali Province and 12 per cent from Sudurpaschim Province. 86 per cent of the total cases pertained to violations and abuses against women and child rights.

    Women abused

    INSEC (Nepal Informal Sector Service Centre) has documented 6,285 victims of human rights violence and abuses in 2021. There were 5,163 cases of women and 560 cases of men among victims of human rights abuses.

    2021 also saw 3,417 cases of complaints of violation of the rights of women, besides 1,522 instances of victims of child rights violation.

    The discrimination, violence, and exclusion against women violates the humanitarian principles of equality and respect, INSEC says. The organisation’s documentation shows a surge of barriers, in the last decade, as result of a person’s gender identity, adversely impacting their dignity, security, and a spectrum of political, economic, social, cultural rights.

    While, 49 per cent of the cases documented over the space of 10 years relate to the violations of women rights, the instances of violation of the rights of women shot up to 61 per cent in the past year.

    “Fifty-two women were victims of human rights violation by the State and 5,161 women were victims of human rights abuse,” a statement released by INSEC says.

    25 per cent of the cases pertained to matters relating to the rights of children.

    Custodial deaths

    In the last five years, INSEC has documented suspicious trends in relation to death in custody. A total of 19 deaths were documented in this period.

    “The rise of human rights violations and accountability gap in cases of custodial death authorities have not elicited response or actions from authorities,” INSEC says, adding that “there is criticisms in mass media that the State’s treatment of detainees is based on their caste, structural control, and poverty and thus, extra-legal.”

    The INSEC statement says, that there has not been any action nor investigations on the suspicious custodial deaths. Neither have there been any prosecutions. This “demonstrate(s) the dwindling accountability of State institutions on this issue,” says the INSEC Nepal statement.

     

    Image: Tara Baral, 39, has on a fast unto death since 16 November 2021 to oppose an US$630 agreement the government of Nepal is entering into with the US-based Millennium Challenge Corporation. INSEC-Nepal

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