Torture and other forms ofill-treatment in custody with the purpose of extracting a confession/ Fear forphysical and psychological integrity/ Risk of impunity
The International Secretariatof the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT interventionin the following situation in Nepal.
Brief description of the situation
The International Secretariatof OMCT has been informed by a reliable source and Antenna International, amember organisation of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the arbitrary detention andalleged torture and ill-treatment inflicted on Mr. Nijamiddin Sekh (alias Bablu), a 21-year-old carpenter andpermanent resident of Nepalgunj Municipality-16, Banke district, by policeofficers with the purpose of extracting a confession.
According to the informationreceived, from 21 July 2011 to 22 July 2011, Mr. Nijamiddin Sekh wassubjected to torture and ill-treatment by police officers of the DistrictPolice Office (DPO), Banke on suspicion of being involved in an abduction case.
On 21 July 2011, at around 8.30 am, Mr. NijamiddinSekh was reportedly arrested in front of the Nepalgunj Nursing Home, Nepalgunj,Banke district, by the DPO police officers and transferred to a room on the DPOtop floor. The police officers allegedly wanted him to confess the abductionbut as he denied and tried to leave the room Police Officer Ashok Yadav allegedlykicked him with his boots in the face. Mr. Nijamiddin Sekh was then handcuffedon his back, blindfolded and left alone in the room without food or water.
According to the sameinformation received, Mr. Nijamiddin Sekh would not remember how long he wasleft alone. However, he supposes that he was left alone till it was dark. Then,four or five police officers came and again wanted him to admit his involvementin the abduction. Mr. Nijamiddin Sekh denied his involvement in this case. Hewas then brought to a place where he was laid down and the police officersreportedly started beating him with their sticks, punched him with fists andkicked him with their police boots. They allegedly tortured him for about onehour and interrogated him on the abduction case, before leaving him again alonefor a while. Afterwards four or five policemen came, took him and brought himsomewhere else, still blindfolded and handcuffed. They allegedly kept him onsomething and then pushed him in the back so he fell down from a high place.Mr. Nijamiddin Sekh fell unconscious and was brought to the Kohalpur Medical College hospital, Bankedistrict, where he was examined. Shortly after, he was reportedly made to sleepin a police van while the police drove to a big house (not identified). Mr.Nijamiddin Sekh was kept inside the van. The police then took his thumb stampson some papers without his consent. He was reportedly taken back to thehospital after he fell anew unconscious. At the hospital, he was not allowed toinform his family about his whereabouts. Mr. Nijamiddin Sekh’s fathereventually found his son at the hospital four days after his arrest.
Superintendent of police,Dinesh Amatya, of DPO Banke, reportedly denied that the police inflicted anytorture on Mr. Nijamiddin Sekh, but instead alleged that this latter hurthimself by falling from a two-storied building while he tried to escape fromthe police.
Mr. Nijamiddin Sekh wasremanded a second time, for ten days on 26July 2011. On 28 July 2011, he was granted amedical check up by the District Court Registrar Dilli Ratna Shrestha, afterhis father filed an application under the Torture Compensation Act. He iscurrently being treated at the Kohalpur Medical College. He suffers, amongothers, of a broken lumbar vertebra, blue and red marks on his left sole offoot, a swollen lip and scratches on his chest. Mr.Nijamiddin Sekh`s father also filed a complaint, on 26 July 2011, with theNational Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in relation to the allegations oftorture and ill-treatment.
TheInternational Secretariat of OMCT expresses its deep concern about theallegations of torture and ill-treatment inflicted upon Mr. Nijamiddin Sekh andrecallsthat the 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 linewith their obligations under the abovementioned treaties, it is incumbent onthe competent Nepalese authorities to consider seriously any allegations oftorture and other forms of ill-treatment, and to undertake a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation in this regard, in order to identify allthose responsible, bring them to trial and apply adequate sanctions.
Finally, OMCT recalls Article 11 of the Convention against Torturewhich 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 said Convention, “Each State Party shall ensure that anystatement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shallnot be invoked as evidence in any proceedings (…)”.
Please write to theauthorities in Nepal urging them to:
i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical andpsychological integrity of Mr. Nijamiddin Sekh;
ii. Guarantee full access to hislawyer and family, as well as guarantee that he is examined by independentdoctors and receives adequate medical care, in accordance, inter alia, with the recommendations of the UN Standard MinimumRules for the Treatment of Prisoners;
iii. Order his immediate release in the absence of validlegal charges that are consistent with international law and standards, or, ifsuch charges exist, bring him promptly before an impartial, independent andcompetent tribunal and guarantee his procedural rights at all times;
iv. Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independentand impartial investigation into the aforementioned facts, including theallegations of torture and ill-treatment inflicted upon Mr. Nijamiddin Sekh, 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;
v. Guarantee that no evidenceobtained under torture and other forms of ill-treatment, or threats thereof, beused in court proceedings against Mr. Nijamiddin Sekhas stipulated in Article 15 of the UNConvention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment orPunishment;
vi. Ensure that adequate,effective and prompt reparation, including adequate compensation andrehabilitation, is granted to the victim concerned;
vii. 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 with appropriatepenalties which take into account the grave nature of the crimes as required.
Ø Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of HomeAffairs, Mr. Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Ministry of Home Affairs, Singha Darbar,Kathmandu, Nepal. Tel: + 9 77 1 421 1211 / + 9 77 1 421 1264, Fax: + 977 1 4211 232
Ø Inspector General of Police, RabindraPratap Shah, Police Head Quarters, Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal, PO. BoxNo.: 407, Fax: + 977 1 4 415 593. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ø Attorney General, Mr. Yuba Raj Sangraula,Office of Attorney General Ramshahpath, Kathmandu, Nepal, Fax: + 977 1 4262582,Email: email@example.com , info@firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
Ø DSP Bishwa Adhikari, Human Rights Cell, NepalPolice, Kathmandu, Nepal PO. Box.No.: 407, Fax: + 977 1 4415593 E- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ø Permanent Missionof Nepal, 81 rue de la Servette, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: + 4122 7332722, E-mail: email@example.com
Please also write to theembassies of Nepal in your respectivecountry.
Geneva, 5 August 2011
Kindly inform us of any actionundertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
 The allegation concerned the abduction of twopersons from Nepalgunj.