20 February 2006

Nepal accused of 'sexual cleansing'

An international human rights organization has joined local LGBT activists in accusing the government of Nepal of trying to wipe out gays and transsexuals.

In a harshly worded letter to the Home Ministry, Human Rights Watch calls on the government " to intervene to ensure that allegations of police abuse are fully investigated."

"Human Rights Watch is gravely concerned by a continuing pattern of arbitrary arrest and police violence against metis (men by birth who identify as women, and might in different cultural circumstances be called transgender people), men who have sex with men, and activists for sexual rights in Kathmandu," the letter signed by Scott Long, the director of HRW's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program.

The latest reported incident occurred on January 3 when four police officers reportedly spotteda group of metis on the street in Katmandu.and shouted, "Metis! Kill them!"

One woman was beaten with a baton. A police officer pulled his gun and pointed it at her, threatening that "These [transsexuals] pollute the society and must be cleaned out". The two other metis also were beaten severely.

Last month, in another incident, soldiers were accused of threatening metis and lesbians in the capital. The women are all members of a support group organized by Nepal's LGBT rights organization Blue Diamond Society.

The women have been running a small grocery store in an affluent area of the city, not far from the home of the Prime Minister and other government leaders.

Most of the women have been disowned by their families once it became known they are lesbians. Because of their sexuality many businesses refuse to hire them. The women say the tiny store is their only means of support.

They say that men claiming to be soldiers of the Royal Nepalese Army routinely harass and threaten them. The men identify themselves as "RNA soldiers stationed at the Baluwatar base".

In 2004 police in Kathmandu rushed a peaceful demonstration of gays seeking equal rights beating the protestors and dispersing the crowd.

The demonstration, in front of the Himalayan nation's Parliament, the Singha Durbar, had been organized by the Blue Diamond Society. The protestors had gathered to submit a petition to the Prime Minister calling for an end to laws against gay sex and for civil rights.

Last April, police in Kathmandu attacked a group of transgender people.

Human Rights Watch detailed the all of the allegations in its letter and called for swift action.

It calls on the government to release any sexual minorities being held in jail, that persons found responsible for abuse are punished, and that police and other criminal-justice officials "are trained in respect for all people's human rights, including the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people."

The government has refused to comment.

These pictures are from various sources taken during the "Nepal Gay jatra" (Nepal Gay Pride) organised by the Blue Diamond Society.

This site is down... gouvernment pressure tactics??

1 comment:

  1. Its unbelievable what goes on in the different parts of the world. Thank you for this piece of news. I always thought of Nepal as a tranquil place but then again you never know that it might be different for people like us.




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