Torture in police custody/ Risk ofimpunity
The InternationalSecretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENTintervention in the following situation in Nepal.
Briefdescription of the situation
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by Advocacy Forum (AF), amember organisation of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the alleged torture inpolice custody suffered by Mr. ParshuramChaudhary, a 24-year-old permanent resident of Deudakala VDC-07, Bardiyadistrict and temporarly living in Boudha, Kathmandu.
According to the informationreceived, on 15 February 2013, Mr. Parshuram Chaudhary, a newspaper deliveryboy, was asked to report to the police after his landlord’s house was robbed onthe previous day. He went to Metropolitan Police Circle (MPC), Boudha, where hewas interrogated about the robbery. He was allegedly tortured during the interrogation,including being beaten with sticks, slapped with palms and kicked with policeboots. This process reportedly continued for about three, four days in everyfour, five days’intervals. After that, he was reportedly threatened varioustimes by Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Umesh Kumar Yadav from Metropolitan PoliceCrime Division (MPCD), Hanumandhoka, Kathmandu. The police officer allegedlycalled him on his cell phone, asked him to join him and other policemen invarious places, including restaurants and tea shops, and forced him to pay thebills otherwise he would be sent to jail.
According to the same informationreceived, on 2 March 2013, Mr. Parshuram Chaudhary was summoned anew to theMPC, Boudha, where he was illegally detained for four days. On 5 March 2013, hewas remanded under the charge of public offence and on the following day, hewas allegedly tortured while being again interrogated by ASI Yadav and anotherunidentified police constable from MPC on the aforementioned robbery. Mr.Parshuram Chaudhary was hit in his face, head and other parts of his body withshoes. He subsequently fell unconscious and when he came round, he was made tosign a paper, which he was unable to read. He was only taken later to a doctor,who applied two stitches on the wound and gave him medicines to stop thebleeding. He was then taken back to MPC, Boudha and detained.
On 19 March 2013, Mr. ParshuramChaudhary was transferred to MPCD, Hanumandhoka, where he was againinterrogated and punched by a plain clothes policeman. The policeman then tookhis statement but did not read it out. Fearing police reprisals, Mr. ParshuramChaudhary reportedly signed the paper without reading it. He was later broughtback to MPC, Boudha until his release on bail on 29 March 2013. During thattimeframe, he was allegedly transferred various times to MPCD, where he wasinterrogated, tortured and threatened with new charges of drug smuggling bydifferent policemen (senior and junior police officers). As of issuing thisurgent appeal, he was not provided with an arrest warrant, a detention letter, areceipt of bail deposit nor a release letter.
TheInternational Secretariat of OMCT expresses its concern about the safety andphysical and psychological integrity of Mr. Parshuram Chaudhary. OMCTurges the competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartialinvestigation into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment, inaccordance with international human rights standards, the result of which mustbe made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent,independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrativesanctions as provided by law.
OMCT recalls thatthe authorities have to fulfil their obligations under international humanrights 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 thoseresponsible for violating this right.
OMCT recalls that Article 11 of the Convention againstTorture stipulates that “Each State Party shall keep under systematic reviewinterrogation rules, instructions, methods and practices as well asarrangements for the custody and treatment of persons subjected to any form ofarrest, detention or imprisonment in any territory under its jurisdiction, witha view to preventing any cases of torture” and article 15 of the saidConvention, “Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which isestablished to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked asevidence in any proceedings (…)”.
Please write tothe authorities in Nepal urging them to:
i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical andpsychological integrity of Mr. ParshuramChaudhary, his family and the lawyers workingon the case;
ii. Carry out a prompt,effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the aforementionedfacts, in accordance with international human rights standards, the result of which mustbe made public, in orderto bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartialtribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided bylaw;
iii. Guarantee that no evidence obtained under torture andill-treatment, or threats thereof, be used in court proceedings against Mr. Parshuram Chaudhary as stipulated inArticle 15 of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman orDegrading Treatment or Punishment;
iv. Ensure that adequate,effective and prompt reparation, including adequate compensation andrehabilitation, is granted to Mr. Parshuram Chaudhary;
v. Ensure the respect of human rights and fundamentalfreedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws andinternational human rights standards, in particular ensure that all acts oftorture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment are clearlydefined in law as offences in accordance with the provisions set out inArticles 1, 4 and 16 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumanor Degrading Treatment or Punishment and that they be made punishable withappropriate penalties which take into account the grave nature of the crimes asrequired (which is not the case under the 1996 Torture Compensation Act).
Ø Prime Minister, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Office of thePrime Minister and Council of Nepal, Singha Darbar, Kathmandu, Nepal, Fax: +977-1-4211286, Email: email@example.com
Ø Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kuber Singh Rana,Police Head Quarters, Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal, PO. Box No.: 407, Fax: + 977 1 4415 593, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ø Attorney General, Mr. Mukti Nath Pradhan, Office ofAttorney General Ramshahpath, Kathmandu, Nepal, Fax: + 977 1 4262582, Email: email@example.com, info@firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
Ø PermanentMission of Nepal, 81 rue de la Servette, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: + 4122 7332722, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also writeto the embassies of Nepal in your respective country.
Geneva, 5 April2013
Kindly inform usof any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.