Friday, April 29, 2005

From: LGBTNepal -'After that I became a whore' : Rani

This statement of Rani-16, a female sex worker of Thamel. Prior she worked as an employee in a massage parlor and was very honest to her work . While on her duty, police arrested her from the parlor where she used to support to her survival. They kept her at Hanuman Dhoka custody and they misbehave frequently. The incident was happened before two months.

"I was compelled to have sex with those policemen in side the custody day by day " she stated.

They used her sexually. "I was simply appointed for my sincere job and respected my work but I was sexually abused by those vultures repeatedly for 7 days. Till those days I was just a massage parlor worker. Nobody had shared my body. When they freed me I was penniless and had no money for bread. After that I forced to be a sex worker, a pure whore, that worked just for money" she said.When I asked about HIV/AIDS, she explained about not using condom in any sexual act till the day and also promised not using anything. She wants to spread AIDS among the police forced who made her a whore from a simple massage parlor worker." I want to spread the diseases among those groups who ruined my beautiful life" she determined herself.

This conversation was with a female sex worker while me attending a Meeting with one of BCC organization .She came to know that she was infected by STI.

From this conversation, we notice meties, many people, women and children compelled to be a sex worker from the same state own security forces. It is the tragedy of ours that the same Rakshak has became Vakshak in our country. It is the climax to raise voices against the same groups to protect ourselves. Otherwise lots of Ranis'will born in our country.

Human Right Defender

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

For Immediate Release: Nepal: Police Attack Transgender People

Pattern of Police Abuse Highlights Broader Threat to Civil Society

(Geneva, April 19, 2005) -- Police in Kathmandu attacked a group of transgender people on Wednesday, underscoring the vulnerability of all Nepalese to police abuse since King Gyanendra seized direct power in February and suspended most civil liberties, Human Rights Watch said today.

On April 13—the Nepalese New Year’s Eve—police attacked 18 metis (a traditional term for biological males who dress and identify as women) who were walking toward a festival in Kathmandu. Nine were severely beaten with batons, gun butts, and sticks.

“This attack is only the latest of a string of police assaults in Nepal against transgender people,” said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. In a country where political and civil rights have been suspended, the violence sends a message that no one who looks or acts differently can feel safe.

Officers from the Durbar Marg police station attacked the metis at about 11 p.m., as they walked along the Kantipath road of Kathmandu. One of the victims was reportedly threatened at gunpoint, beaten in the stomach with the butt of a gun, and kicked repeatedly. Another suffered a broken hand. The inspector of the Durbar Marg station reportedly watched the beatings from inside a nearby police van. The Durbar Marg police station is directly outside the gates of the Royal Palace, an area heavily surrounded by armed police and military.

The metis attempted to report the incident at the station, but police refused them entry. They went to the Bir Hospital, where their injuries were treated and recorded.

The Blue Diamond Society, a Nepalese nongovernmental organization defending sexual rights and sexual health, has documented numerous such incidents. For instance, on the night of December 12, 15 policemen in the Jamal district of Kathmandu attacked two metis on the street. The assailants wore civilian clothes but reportedly showed police IDs. They took the victims to Tundhikel, a large open field in central Kathmandu, threatened them with guns, and beat and raped them.

On August 9, 39 metis who were members of the Blue Diamond Society were picked up in police raids in Kathmandu. They were held for more than two weeks in the Hanuman Dhoka police station, and denied adequate food or visitation rights. Several were beaten and raped.

The Blue Diamond Society’s very existence has been under attack since last year. On July 5, police dispersed a rally which the Society had organized to protest violence, beating several of the protesters. A week later, Justice Ram Prasad of Nepal’s Supreme Court acted on a petition received from a private lawyer, asking to ban the Blue Diamond Society on the grounds that it violated the prohibition of “unnatural sex” in Nepal’s criminal code.

Under international pressure, the Ministry of Home Affairs in August told the court it would not support banning the Blue Diamond Society, on the grounds that there is no specific law to take action against homosexuals” in Nepal. However, the court case remains open. Hearings on January 18 and March 18 were inconclusive; a new hearing is scheduled for May 10.

“The attempt to shut down the Blue Diamond Society was an early warning of the pattern that is now evident –to effect a comprehensive crackdown on civil society in Nepal,” said Long. “The government must restore civil liberties and respect everyone’s rights to freedom of expression and association.”

For more information, please contact:

In New York, Scott Long: +1 212 216 1297, +1 646 641
5655; Sam Zarifi: +1 212 216 1825

In Delhi, Tej Thapa: +91 98716 18834

Sunday, April 17, 2005

From: [LGBTNepal] - Are we secure in this lawless country?

Previously I was pretty sure that in Nepal, at least, at Katmandu we are secure because it is Kingdom and lots of security forces and human right activists are here for our security. My that beliefs came to absurd when I saw the brutal cuts and wound of Roshani  that caused due to brutal lathi charge and boot charge of security force at new-year eve-2062. Roshani who was one of the victim among 18, of that mishap that caused by security forces at Kantipath. Yesterday when she called me for dressing of that wounds and Massage, there I became unconscious after getting such a terrible wounds that I haven not seen yet in my whole life. In her body ,believe me, there is no space to past the massage cream –all cuts and swollen. She told me that police beat her so hard by Guns' Kurda, boot and LAthi of cane. She told me that there is deep pain in her cheast, neck, and lungs.The whole body was aching.

Later I came to know all details that they were there for New Year celebration. Police forces they attack upon them when police became unable to control the mass – especially the Modern girl with glamorous dresses and the junkie guys that make crowd at that place.To scare these groups, Police force attack upon the Métis brutally.

      I want to ask question to all human right activists that it is justifiable? To attack upon the innocence and weak persons, groups to hide own weakness? Who gave them such right to make scapegoat to poor and innocence Métis?

In such lawless and brutal country how can we feel easy and secure? It is not only the problems of Métis but of all who are poor and weak, they can be victim of those NAMARDAS And it is the duty of all human right activist to raise hand against such kinds of atrocity hat the ruling class is doing.

I hope you will kindly co-operate with us to raise voice against such kind of brutality.
Human rights Defender

OPINION-Time To Break Shackles

Let antiquated laws go and same-sex lovers be allowed to live in dignity

"We are not living in the time of the inquisition," the poet Firaq Gorakhpuri told a homophobe in 1937, advising him to rid himself of his 'pedestrian prejudice'. It's time to remind ourselves of this advice, now that a plea to remove discrimination against millions of Indians has for the first time reached India's highest court. It is for the Supreme Court now to decide whether those who love people of their own sex will be allowed the basic right to live in dignity.

Recently, the Delhi High Court was asked to strike down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises homosexuality.

The court dismissed the petition on technical grounds. A Special Leave Petition is now before the Supreme Court, which asks the government why the Delhi High Court should not be asked to reconsider the petition.

This is encouraging. The Supreme Court has shown it is ready to intervene in matters of citizen's rights. This is one occasion when it must. The rights of millions are at stake and a serious health crisis is being aggravated. Hopefully, the Indian government too will dump 'pedestrian prejudice' before it presents its opinion to the court. The last government told the high court that Indian society and culture did not accept homosexuality.

Could there be a better example of uninformed 'pedestrian prejudice'? On what did the government base its assertion? Did it counter the widely available evidence of tolerance? Or was it speaking on behalf of a moral brigade whose acts of harassment and vandalism attract so much media attention but no punishment?

And even if one were to accept society's disapproval as the basis of law, would the state cite the same reasons if asked for its views on inter-faith and inter-caste marriages?

The government must respond with urgency to the health issues raised by the petition. Perhaps it should re-brief itself with what AIDS activists have to say about Section 377. Homosexual and bisexual men are as vulnerable to hiv as heterosexuals. Lesbians are at least risk. But as long as male-male sexual intercourse is deemed criminal, ignorance will continue and the spread of hiv will increase. Even the most preliminary of statistics show that its occurrence is much wider than most people believe. hiv and AIDS are easily preventable but due to shame, guilt and fear, homosexual men in particular, fail to inform or protect themselves.

The law harms millions of Indians who are attracted to their own sex and benefits no one. The destructive effects of prejudice against same-sex love and the price society pays for it in terms of psychological health are well known. Many heterosexuals close to or related to gay people also suffer because of this prejudice. It forces many growing children to feel stigmatised, maladjusted, suicidal and incapable of realising their true potential. Parents seeking a 'cure' to this 'illness' find homophobic doctors who recommend horrific and highly questionable treatment for young adults, damaging them for life.

Irrational prejudice forces adults to live in secrecy and enter into marriages where the truth is never told. Unhappiness is built into a supposedly 'sacred' union. Women in these marriages are twice victimised because they are vulnerable to hiv through their closeted gay or bisexual spouses. Removing the law might also stop young women from committing joint suicides because they want to stay together and society, with the help of law, makes that difficult.

The law stigmatises homosexuals. Without it, it would be easier for them to deal with personal issues of self worth. Its removal would empower people to fight discrimination in health, employment or housing. To retain a law that is rarely used and yet causes so much harm makes no sense.Instead, the government should concentrate on making firm laws on rape and child abuse, both same sex and cross sex.

Section 377 is defunct yet dangerous. Cases of people charged under the section rarely come to court. Yet, it is widely used for harassment and blackmail, both material and sexual, very often by the police themselves. The government cannot prosecute people for being homosexual unless it turns vindictive. And society must not leave such weapons around for any future witch-hunts.

The law punishes certain acts that are a part of the sexual repertoire of both homosexuals and heterosexuals. However, it is used mostly against homosexuals and bisexuals. Technically, it could target heterosexuals too. Heterosexual married couples can be punished with rigorous imprisonment for oral or anal sex. It's time the government withdraws from the sexual life of consenting adults.

Homosexuals were first deemed criminals by a colonial government that has decriminalised them in its own country. We removed their statues; why cling to their destructive statutes? India is perceived as one of the leaders of the third world because it is a functioning and innovative democracy. It should take the lead in this matter too. This would give hope to activists not just in South Asia but also in the rest of the developing world.

The large band of dedicated activists who have energised this initiative must be prepared for the worst. Expectations were high. In fact, the sudden dismissal came as a huge disappointment. What if 'pedestrian prejudice' prevails again? The fight has been long and must continue.

People who resent discrimination but keep quiet must state their stake against this law. They have to stand up and be counted, for numbers matter in a democracy.

(Saleem Kidwai is a Lucknow-based writer and co-author of Same-Sex Love in India: Readings from Literature and History.)