Tuesday, August 10, 2004

From: Aditya

The Director General of Police
Royal Nepali Government

Dear Sir,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Asia Director of ILGLaw, anInternational body of lawyers and Jurists who work on issues concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender persons, and other sexual minority. I am also a Core Group Member of the Asia Pacific Rainbow, a coalition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender persons, and other sexual minority individuals and Organisations in the Asia-Pacific Region. I am a Board member of the Indian Network of NGOs. I am a practicing Lawyer
in New Delhi, India. I have also assisted Blue Diamond Society in some matters relating to Human Rights in the past, and continue to do so at present.

It is with extreme concern that I am writing to you about the deteriorating situation of Gay persons in Nepal and of Métis, the
traditionally feminised males. In my past posting to you I have highlighted some of the violence and violation of the basic human rights and basic dignity of Métis, including photographs of the attempted murder of one Meti is Kathmandu. It saddens me to say that your police force has been responsible for most of these documented assaults, and/or they have abetted and let the perpetrators carry on with impunity by refusing to act on any of the matters that have been brought to their notice.

Now to aggravate the matter your police force have arrested 39 Métis without any basis and is presently fishing around for possible charges to press against them. However I am sure your good self would be aware, given the high office you hold, that this is not the way the police force of any civilised society acts. A police force does not arrest anyone because of their own imbedded prejudices and thereafter tries and find out if the arrested can be charged on cooked up and false charges.
The liberty of a person can only be abridged by specific procedures that are laid down in law and Nepal has such laws in place which your police force is summarily disregarding to abet its own biases against a segment of Nepali society. The homophobia of your force is a blot on the good name of not only the entire police force, but also of the Nepali Nation,
and the conduct of your force has thus far been of the most appalling insensitivity, cruelty, without any basis in law or rules of civic conduct, and in violation of all the International Law guarantees on Human Rights that Nepal has signed on to and promised to ensure for its citizen subjects.

For your information, Nepal is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its optional protocols and those protocols have been invoked in the UNHCHR in the past wherein it has held that the state cannot have laws that discriminates against homosexuals. More importantly, Nepal does not have any law against homosexuality, and most rightly so for any civilised and forward looking country should not have it either. Yet your police force is acting in a manner that suggests that you have started a campaign of persecution against Métis and other homosexual persons in Nepal. The very fact that there is no law against homosexuality in Nepal makes the actions of your force illegal both under your domestic law and under the International Laws that Nepal is obliged to follow. Your force has opened itself to action against it available in Both Nepali Law as well as International Human Rights Law that Nepal has signed on to.

You are therefore requested to personally intervene to:

1] Ensure that the arrested Métis are released from custody forthwith;

2] Ensure that Blue Diamond Society is provided with security for its staff and personnel so that they can carry on their important and vital work of prevention of HIV amongst Males who have Sex with Males [MSM], since such work is squarely within the purview of the AIDS Control Policies of the Royal Nepal Government;

3] Initiate training and sensitisation work with your police force, possibly in collaboration with Blue Diamond Society, so that police personnel do not feel that they have a right given them by the virtue of their uniforms to rape Métis and/or act with violence and indignity towards them;

4] Expedite the investigations into pending cases/complaints that have been filed by Métis in various Police Stations on violence that they have faced in the past;

5] Instruct all police stations that they should not refuse to take complaints from Métis when Métis want to file such complaints for any violence or abuse that they face;

6] Ensure that all complaints that are filed with regards to violence and abuse against Métis and other MSM are investigated thoroughly and expeditiously and that the guilty are brought to justice.

I hope that you shall act urgently on these very legitimate requests as they form a vital part of your duty as the head of Nepali Police.

Thank you and best regards

Aditya Bondyopadhyay


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