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NEPAL

Call to Intervene to Help Release Five Imprisoned Gay Metis in Nepal

 

 

Incarcerated Without Charge
 

 


■ Sunil Pant
(photo: Blue Diamond Society)

 

 

 

 

by Sunil Pant
(Blue Diamond Society)

KATHMANDU, October 3  –  Five metis were arrested last night about 10pm in Kantipath while they were on their way to the Thamel area of the Nepali capitol. [Reports from Nepal earlier today said that there were three metis arrested]

They were Suntali Lama (age about 22 years), Neema Lama (age 22), Kanchhi Lama (age 25), Bipasa Rai (aged about 19) and Deepa (aged 22).

Suntali was arrested just after she left a taxi in Kantipath.  Kanchhi Lama was chased and caught by the police and dragged by her hair into a Police van.  Deepa was also caught there by Nagar (city) police and taken to Durbar Marg police station.  Neema and Bipasa were then caught by the police from Durbar Marg and taken to Durbar Marg Police station by taxi.

Today, I went to Durbar Marg police station to find out more about the arrests and charges.

The officer in charge at Durbar Marg police station refused to give any details saying the arrests was carried out by the Nagar police.  

He also told me that “this is an instruction from Nagar Police not to release them and take them to the Hanuman Dhoka Police (Central District Police Station) for a ‘public offence’ charge.” 

I asked what kind of ‘public offence’ they will be charged with, but he said he didn’t know anything more.

The officer in charge also said:  “Anyway we can’t handle this case because we don’t have custody for women so we have no space to keep metis who are not men.”

I then contacted the Nagar Police and they told me “to call after two days, because today and tomorrow are public holidays”.

Later, at about 2pm, I asked the metis when they had last eaten.  They told me that since 10pm last night they had not given any food.  I then went to buy food for them, but when I came back to the Durbar Marg Police station with the food, unfortunately the Metis had already been taken to Hanuman Dhoka Police Station.

On August 9 last year, 39 members of Blue Diamond Society were arrested by the Nagar (city) police in a crackdown on metis and were detained 13 days with out any charges.

We fear a similar situation will happen this time These 5 metis taken into custody yesterday may be kept for longer time – and, like in the last case, they may be sexually abused while in police custody.

There may be more arrests of metis and members of BDS in the coming days.

Blue Diamond Society is very much concerned with such regular arrests and abuse against transgender people in Nepal and condemns the demeaning action from the Nepal police who are supposed to protect the citizens.

Blue Diamond Society calls for your support and solidarity to protect the human rights of transgender people and the immediate release of these five metis.

We appeal to other Human Rights organizations and activists to intervene immediately to protect the metis from police abuse within police custody and for their immediate release.

■  Those in the United Kingdom who wish to protest to the Nepali Government can write to:  Ambassador Prabal Rana, Embassy of Nepal, 12a Kensingston Palace Gardens, London W8 4QU.  Phone: 020 7229 1594, Fax: 020 7792 9861, Email: rnelondon@btconnect.com

For our readers in the USA, write to: Ambassador Kedar Bhakta Shrestha, Embassy of Nepal, 2131 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008. Phone:  [1] (202) 667-4550, Fax:  [1] (202) 667-5534

Elsewhere in the world, you can contact your local Nepali Embassy.  Click HERE for a full list of Nepali Embassies and Consulates.


Account of the August 2004 Mass Arrests

According to the arrested metis, all of them were taken by the police who said that they were being taken for a meeting and needed them to identify the guy who’d been caught under the suspicion of Jayaram’s case (an attempted murder by slitting the meti's throat after she was raped by a man on  August 6 2005.

When they were arrested many of them were dancing inside Babylon disco and others were on their way to the disco or walking in the street.  The police that were their clients took them and most of them were ones that they knew from before. They went with them because they approached them in a friendly manner and told them that they were all being taken for two hours meeting.

After they were taken they were all kept in a room that wasn’t even big enough for five people and said they would be freed after questioning them.  Most of the metis that were arrested were just out to enjoy themselves in the discos and wanted a night of dancing.

Inside the prison on the first day when one of the metis (Rani) wanted to use the bathroom the police didn’t open the door and when she shouted so that the police allow her to go to the bathroom but they beat her up with a stick till it broke.

Due to this she suffered from fever and was all shaky and even after seeing her state the police didn’t take her to see the doctor or get any medications for her.

Three police came and when she asked them for the medicine they said we’ll get it and later just laughed.

So Blue Diamond Society had to take the medication for her after being informed.

The police also beat up another meti, Amber Majhi who was attacked by three police after she protested after seeing a journalist videotaping them inside the cell.  This was yet another discrimination from the police, they violated the rights of all the metis by letting the media expose them when there are a lot of metis that haven’t opened themselves at their homes and could face difficulties later.

There was a lot of verbal harassments from the police, they called them names and said they will shoot them when they protested against being locked up for being innocent. They also said that “acid should be put on the face of the hijaras and that they don’t deserve to live”.

The police called them names and even got other people to see them.  They were laughed at and everyone feels like they were punished for a crime that they hadn’t done.

On the third day the metis were taken to five different police stations and kept for another ten days during which time they were raped, abused and beaten.

Kalimati police station, Maharaj Jung police station and Hanuman Dhoka police station all treated the meti badly and raping them while in custody.

Everyone feels like it was very inhuman from the police to trick them  and locking them up for no reason at all.  They didn’t even give them any explanation as to why they were being kept inside.  They were just verbally abused.

While giving statement a lot of them were made to sign on something that they couldn’t read since there are a lot of illiterate metis among the 39 arrested.

Others who could read were made to sign and not given a chance to read what they were signing.  They were all pressured and threatened and made to sign on statements where anything could be written.

“We have no words to thank all the international and local organizations, individuals, friends, governments, media and relatives for your solidarity and support on this difficult time,” the Blue Diamond Society said in a statement a year ago.

RELATED:

Nepal:  HIV Victim Beaten As Police Taunt Gays In Nepal.  A Nepalese meti afflicted with HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS, was savagely beaten by police and detained in a Kathmandu police station for a day before being released on payment of what was effectively a bribe. (UK Gay News, September 27)

Nepal:  OutRage! Condemns Police Brutality Against Gays in Nepal.  The UK LGBT human rights group OutRage! has today condemned the police assaults of gay metis last weekend in Kathmandu, Nepal .

For all UK Gay News coverage of Nepal, go to our Archive main page and use the site search engine

LINKS

Blue Diamond Society website

 

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 Nepal:  HIV Victim Beaten As Police Taunt Gays In Nepal.  A Nepalese meti afflicted with HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS, was savagely beaten by police and detained in a Kathmandu police station for a day before being released on payment of what was effectively a bribe.

 

Posted: 3 October 2005 at :1600 (UK time)

 

 

 

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