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Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Communications to and from Governments, A/HRC/4/34/Add.1, March 19, 2007: Nepal

Allegation letter

448. On 6 February 2006 the Special Rapporteur has jointly with the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture sent an allegation letter to the Government of Nepal concerning police harassment and beatings of persons who are men by birth but identify as women (known as metis in Nepal).

449. In a communication dated 7 November 2005, the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women already brought to the Government’s attention allegations that police had harassed and physically abused several metis. Since then, additional attacks have reportedly occurred.

450. Early in the morning on 7 December 2005, police from the Shore Khutte station raided a hotel in the Thamel district of Kathmandu. The raid was reportedly a retaliatory measure against the hotel for refusing to provide a room free of charge to four policemen where they intended to have sexual relations with two metis. During the raid, eleven metis were arrested. Eight were held without charge for five days, before they were released. The other three were even detained for six days.

451. On 27 December 2005, a meti, S., was detained in Shore Khuttee Police Station. She was not promptly informed of the reasons for her arrest and detention, was not given access to a lawyer and did not have adequate access to a toilet.

452. On 28 December 2005 at about 1.30 a.m., police arrested S., another meti, and took her to Shore Khutte police station. Police at the station verbally abused her and commanded her to strip. When she refused, they stripped her forcibly of her clothes and touched her genitals while mocking her. They also threatened to cut her hair off as punishment for wearing women’s clothes. She was released the next day.

453. On 31 December 2005 at about 11 p.m., police from Shore Khutte police station detained a meti from the Thamel district. One policeman beat her with a bamboo baton calling her derogatory names. She escaped, but her right hand is reportedly swollen and badly bruised.

454. On 3 January 2005 at about 10 p.m., three metis were walking in the Thamel district, when four police from Durbar Marg police station reportedly saw them and shouted: “Metis! Kill them!” One meti was beaten with a baton on her back; one policeman pulled his gun and pointed it at her, threatening that “These hijras [local Nepali term for transgender persons] pollute the society and must be cleaned out.” The other two metis were also severely beaten. All three reportedly had bruises on various parts of their bodies.

Allegation letter

470. On 1 December 2006 the Special Rapporteur has jointly with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders sent an allegation letter to the Government concerning M.R.C., a human rights outreach worker and member of the Blue Diamond Society.

471. Members of the Blue Diamond Society were subject of an urgent appeal sent by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health on 12 August 2004. The Blue Diamond Society is a NGO working with sexual minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons on health issues, including outreach education and prevention of HIV/AIDS, and campaigns for non-discrimination against persons based on their sexual orientation in Nepal.

472. According to the information received: On 7 July 2006 evening, M.R.C. and other metis working in the Tri Devi Marg area in Thamel were verbally abused by members of the Durbar Marg Police when M.R.C. questioned them as to why photos and videos were being taken of the metis. Previously that day, the Durbar Marg Police had arrived in Thamel, and proceeded to record on video a group of metis. One of the police officers gave instructions to the cameraman as to the whereabouts of the metis. The metis attempted to escape and hide their faces from the camera, but were reportedly forced to show their faces. The police threatened to arrest and detain them if they didn’t cooperate. Furthermore, it is alleged that the police falsely told the metis that they were sent by the Director of Blue Diamond Society in an attempt to film them.

473. Concern was expressed that the above acts of verbal abuse against M.R.C. may be related to her human rights activities, specifically her outreach work with Blue Diamond Society. In addition, concern was expressed that the events represent a sustained campaign by police to harass, intimidate and humiliate metis in Nepal, including by sexual violence.

Link to full text of the report: Communications-SR Violence against women-2007-eng