Allegations of torture and ill-treatment in police custody/ Risk of impunity
The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Nepal.
Brief description of the situation
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by Advocacy Forum (AF), a member organisation of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the alleged torture and ill-treatment in police custody suffered by Mr. Padam Bahadur Shahi, a 42-year-old ex policeman and a resident of Naubasta VDC-02, Banke district.
According to the information received, on 23 June 2013, Mr. Padam Bahadur Shahi was punched and arrested by three unidentified policemen in a bus from Khajura to Naubasta VDC (both in Banke district). Mr. Padam Bahadur Shadi had reportedly refused to pay his bus fare after the bus driver had inadvertently broken a plant he had just bought. The three policemen took Mr. Padam Bahadur Shahi to Kohalpur Area Police Office.
Once at the police office, Mr. Padam Bahadur Shahi was reportedly searched and detained in a cell. After some time, Sub-inspector Narpati Bhatt came to his cell and allegedly punched him on his neck, face and chest for about four to five times. He also kicked him on his knees and legs for three to four times. A Head Constable, with the surname of Chaudhary, also reportedly punched him approximately three times on his left armpits, punched him five to six times on his neck and head, as well as kicked him with police boots on his knees for about nine to ten times. He had red and blue marks on his shin because of the kicking. When Mr. Padam Bahadur Shahi asked them why he was being detained and beaten, the policemen reporteldy told him “Don’t talk much. Nothing will happen even if we kill you and throw somewhere”.
According to the same information, Mr. Padam Bahadur Shahi was then taken to the women detention cell who was empty at the time. He was handcuffed and tied to the door while about five policemen, including Head Constable Chaudhary, beat him randomly with sticks and punched him with fists and police boots. He reportedly lost a tooth due to the beating and suffered other injuries all over his body, notbaly on his right cheek and right elbow.
After approximately one hour, a friend of Mr. Padam Bahadur Shahi, who had heard about his arrest from local people, went to the police office. After discussion, the police accused Mr. Padam Bahadur Shahi of breaking a fan set outside the detention room and asked him to pay NRs. 2800.- (approximately 28 US $). He was eventually released the same day after paying NRs. 1400.- (approximately 15 US $). On 24 June 2013, he went to Zonal Hospital Nepalgunj and was diagnosed a factured cheekbone. The doctor reportedly referred him to a hospital in Kathmandu or Lucknow (in India) to undergo a surgery but the medical treatment is too expensive for him.
The International Secretariat of OMCT urges the competent authorities to guarantee the safety and physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Padam Bahadur Shahi at all times, notably by putting in place adequate protection measures for him, and by suspending the police personnel believed to be responsible for the allegations of torture and ill-treatment, pending an investigation.OMCT further urges the competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment, in accordance with international human rights standards, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law.
OMCT recalls that the authorities have to fulfil their obligations under international human rights law to protect the right not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and to bringing to justice those responsible for violating this right. Victims must be ensured the right to an effective remedy for the human rights violations suffered as well as the right to full redress, including compensation and rehabilitation.
OMCT also recalls that Article 11 of the Convention against Torture stipulates that “Each State Party shall keep under systematic review interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practices as well as arrangements for the custody and treatment of persons subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment in any territory under its jurisdiction, with a view to preventing any cases of torture”.
Please write to the authorities in Nepal urging them to: i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Padam Bahadur Shahi and his family;ii. Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the aforementioned facts, in accordance with international human rights standards, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;iii. Ensure that adequate, effective and prompt reparation, including adequate compensation and rehabilitation, is granted to Mr. Padam Bahadur Shahi;iv. Ensure the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards, in particular ensure that all acts of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment are clearly defined in law as offences in accordance with the provisions set out in Articles 1, 4 and 16 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and that they be made punishable with appropriate penalties which take into account the grave nature of the crimes as required (which is not the case under the 1996 Torture Compensation Act).Addresses Ø Prime Minister, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Nepal, Singha Darbar, Kathmandu, Nepal, Fax: + 977-1-4211286, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgØ Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kuber Singh Rana, Police Head Quarters, Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal, PO. Box No.: 407, Fax: + 977 1 4 415 593, Email: email@example.comØ Attorney General, Mr. Mukti Nath Pradhan, Office of Attorney General Ramshahpath, Kathmandu, Nepal, Fax: + 977 1 4262582, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, info@email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org Ø Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Kedar Nath Uppadhya, Pulchowck, Lalitpur, Nepal; Email: email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: + 977 1 5547973Ø Permanent Mission of Nepal, 81 rue de la Servette, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: + 4122 7332722, E-mail:email@example.com
Please also write to the embassies of Nepal in your respective country.
Geneva, 8 July 2013
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.