Monday, November 27, 2006

Metis, victims (of political change?) in Nepal by Sunil Pant

After the recent peace deal between the Nepal Government and Maoist, like every other Nepalese, Métis (cross dressing effeminate males) also were in expectation that their rights would be ensured and they would also enjoy freedom and safety. But the situation and hate crimes they faces from many angles everyday makes them believe that the situation for Métis has become far worse than before. Before, most of the violence against Métis were committed by Nepal police but recently many Métis were victimized by men who called themselves Maoist. On night of 24th November 2006, four men, tow of them were in combat dress came to the Métis room at Lazimpat where few Métis share a apartment building and the group of Métis were abused physically, verbally, beten badly, threatened not to become Métis anymore. Their mobile phones, money, jewelries were also looted. Those 4 men, who claimed themselves from Maoist party, told Métis to come and collect the phones at Maoist office either in Kalanki or in Kupondole.

Yesterday Blue Diamond Society contacted the Maoist valley operation in charge, Yadav. He came and talked with Métis and told the unfortunate incident last night was not carried out by Maoist as they don't do this kind of looting especially from the most poor and marginalized section of population. However, Yadev told at the meeting that this was not the only case that these kind of criminals carrying out using Maoist's Name and his party was also looking for these criminals. Many Métis told it could be a group of petty criminals who constantly need money for substance use or some kind of organized move to compromise the Maoist Credit amongst the general Neplai.

One of the looter some how dropped his photograph and Métis handed over the photo to Yadav. Yadav insured the Métis that their party would try their best to crack down these kind of criminals who are using their names.

In another incident, Police from Durbar Marg Police station arrested two Métis on the same night, no charge has been filed and it's already more than 36 hours. Two Métis, nick name Bagini and Rekha (age about 25, 24) were arrested from Durbar Marg, front of Royal Palace. They were taken to the Kamal Pokharai saying they don't have enough room to keep the Métis separate in Durbar Marg Police Station, then they were brought to Durbar Marg Police station yesterday. They were not given any food or drink yet. One of the police officer told they couldn't file the charge as it was Saturday that's they had no mandate to provide the Métis food or drinks. One of the police officer also told that they didn't know why these Metis were arrested as it was done by the Police Inspector who was also in charge of that Police station.

Blue Diamond Society is very concern of such violence and arrest from state and non state parties and demand thorough investigation over these incidents by the Police and Maoist and bring the perpetrators into justice. We also demand that government must bring law and policy that prohibits discriminations and hate crimes against Métis on the basis of sexual orientations and gender identities. This kind of violence and discrimination against Métis will be no longer tolerated and government must take immediate action to ensure the safety and freedom on minorities in Nepal.


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