ASIA/NEPAL - The number of torture and abuse that goes unpunished on juvenile detainees is still high

Friday, 28 October 2011

Kathmandu (Agenzia Fides) - In Nepal, the threats to the victims and the absence of mechanisms of protection for witnesses have hindered access to justice for thousands of people and fed impunity towards perpetrators of such crimes. With no guarantee of protection for victims and witnesses concerning human rights violations, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure adequate judicial trials in the country. This lack of protection and the relative impunity of the perpetrators are one of the reasons for which the torture of children in prisons are still widespread in Nepal. In the Asian country brutality against children continues to increase as the judicial system remains unable to condemn the perpetrators.
According to a recent survey, 32.8% of young prisoners surveyed, reported torture or ill-treatment from January to June 2011. Although they are considered illegal in Nepal, for 20 years, no one has ever been convicted for murder according to Article 7 of the Children Act. Even if the judicial system has made progress in the protection of human rights, it is very slow in the fight against torture and condemnation against the culprits. For example, the Torture Compensation Act 1996 provides for ministerial sanctions in cases where torture has been verified. However, while the court has repeatedly proven tortures and compensated victims, it rarely has pursued actions against the perpetrators. By mutual agreement, the Asian Human Rights Commission and the Center for Victims of Torture-Nepal have urged the government to speed up the process of criminalization of this phenomenon through the adoption of sanctions proportionate to the seriousness of the offense, and in line with standards accepted at an international level with regards to human rights. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 28/10/2011)