Torture and other forms ofill-treatment in custody with the purpose of extracting a confession/ Noadequate medical care/ Risk of impunity
The International Secretariat of the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention inthe following situation in Nepal.
Brief description of thesituation
TheInternational Secretariat of OMCT has beeninformed by a reliable source and Antenna International, a member organisationof OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the alleged torture and ill-treatmentinflicted on Mr. Atiram Rana, 28 years old, resident of ShamsergunjVDC-7, Banke district, by police officers with the purpose of extracting aconfession. OMCT is gravely concerned about his health condition.
According to the information received, on12 April 2011, Mr. Atiram Rana was arrested at his shop in Shamsergunj VDC-7,Banke district, by officers of the District Police Office (DPO), Banke andillegally detained during six days (he was only given an arrest warrant and adetention letter on 18 April 2011) on suspicion of being involved in a murder,which took place on 31 March 2011.
Accordingto the same information received, on 12 April 2011, at around 10p.m.,Mr. Atiram Rana was transferred by several policemen to the DPO top floor. Theyreportedly blindfolded him and started to interrogate him on the murder case.Mr. Atiram Rana was allegedly forced to lie on the floor, then his hands andlegs were caught and he was beaten on the soles of his feet with sticks. Furthermore,the policemen put chili powder and poured water into his nose and mouth when hedenied the allegations made against him. Mr. Atiram Rana reportedly started to suffocate.Later, the policemen allegedly applied electronic shocks on his right toe, punchedhim on different parts of his body, kicked on his groin, stepped on his bodyand, finally, he was threaten with forcing water into his penis with a pipe.Mr. Atiram Rana subsequently fell half unconscious. He would not remember howlong they tortured him, the questions they asked and the responses hesupposedly gave. However, Mr. Atiram Rana supposes that he was tortured untilaround 2 a.m.
On 14 April 2011, Mr. Atiram Rana hired a lawyer who filed a writ of habeascorpus on the same day before the Appellate Court in Nepalgunj. At the courthearing, which took place on 17 April 2011, the judge reportedly orderedthe policemen to stop any further acts of torture and ill-treatment on Mr.Atiram Rana, given his poor physical and mental condition. Mr. Atiram Rana waslater remanded in custody three times, and, on 11May 2011,he was transferred to Banke District Jail, awaiting trial.
Accordingto the same information received, Mr. Atiram Rana was transferred to BheriZonahl hospital, on 20 April 2011. However, he was reportedlynot seriously examined, although he would suffer, among others, of a swollenpenis, from pain all over his body, a headache and a dry tongue and mouth. OMCThas also been informed that, to date, no investigation was initiated into theaforementioned allegations and no adequate steps were taken against the allegedperpetrators.
TheInternational Secretariat of OMCT expresses its deep concern about theallegations of torture and ill-treatment inflicted upon Mr. Atiram Rana and thelack of adequate medical care he has received.
OMCT recalls thatthe authorities are legally bound to effectively ensure the physical andpsychological integrity of all persons deprived of liberty in accordance withinternational human rights law, and in particular, the Convention againstTorture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and theInternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
OMCT recalls that, in line with their obligationsunder the abovementioned treaties, it is incumbent on the competent Nepaleseauthorities to consider seriously any allegations of torture and other forms ofill-treatment, and to undertake a prompt,effective, thorough, independentand impartial investigation in thisregard, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them to trial andapply adequate sanctions.
Finally, OMCT recalls Article 11 of the Convention against Torture which stipulates that “EachState Party shall keep under systematic review interrogation rules,instructions, methods and practices as well as arrangements for the custody andtreatment of persons subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonmentin any territory under its jurisdiction, with a view to preventingany cases of torture” andarticle 15 of the said Convention, “Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is establishedto have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence inany proceedings (…)”.
Please write to the authorities in Nepal urging themto:
i. Guarantee,in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Atiram Rana;
ii. Guarantee full access to his lawyer and family, aswell as guarantee that he is examined by independent doctors and receivesadequate medical care, in accordance, interalia, with the recommendations of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for theTreatment of Prisoners;
iii. Orderhis immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistentwith international law and standards, or, if such charges exist, bring himpromptly before an impartial, independent and competent tribunal and guaranteehis procedural rights at all times;
iv. Carryout a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation intothe aforementioned facts, including the allegations of torture andill-treatment inflicted upon Mr. Atiram Rana, in accordance with internationalhuman rights standards, the result of which must be made public, in order tobring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunaland apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
v. Guarantee that no evidence obtained under tortureand other forms of ill-treatment, or threats thereof, be used in courtproceedings against Mr.Atiram Rana as stipulated in Article 15of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or DegradingTreatment or Punishment;
vi. Ensure that adequate, effective and promptreparation, including adequate compensation and rehabilitation, is granted tothe victim concerned;
vii. Ensurethe respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country inaccordance with national laws and international human rights standards, inparticular ensure that all acts of torture, and cruel, inhuman and degradingtreatment and punishment are clearly defined in law as offences in accordancewith the provisions set out in Articles 1, 4 and 16 of the Convention againstTorture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and thatthey be made punishable with appropriate penalties which take into account thegrave nature of the crimes as required.
Ø Ministry of Home Affairs,Singha Darbar, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tel: +977 1 4211211 / 4211264, Fax: +977 1 4211 232
Ø Inspector General of Police,Ramesh Chand Thakuri, Police Head Quarters, Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal, PO. BoxNo.: 407, Fax: +977 1 4 415 593. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ø Attorney General, Mr. Yuv RajSangraula, Office of Attorney General Ramshahpath, Kathmandu, Nepal, Fax: +9771 4262582, Email: email@example.com, info@firstname.lastname@example.org
Ø DSP Bishwa Adhikari, HumanRights Cell, Nepal Police, Kathmandu, Nepal PO. Box. No.: 407, Fax: +977 14415593 E- mail: email@example.com
Ø Chairman of the National HumanRights Commission, Mr. Kedar Nath Uppadhya, Pulchowck, Lalitpur, Nepal; Email:firstname.lastname@example.org and also email@example.com, Fax: +977 1 5547973
Ø Chief of ArmyStaff (CoAS), Mr. Gen Chhatra Man Singh Gurung, Nepalese Army HQ, Bhadrakali,Kathmandu, Tel: 977-1-4246140,4241731(DPR), Fax: 977-1-4269624, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ø Ministry ofDefense, Mr. Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Tel: 977-1-4211290, 4211289, Fax:977-1-4211294, Email: email@example.com
Ø Permanent Mission of Nepal, 81 rue de laServette, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland,Fax: +4122 7332722, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also write to the embassies of Nepal in yourrespective country.
Geneva, 18 May 2011
Kindly inform usof any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.