NEPAL: Illegal arrest and torture of two young men by the police in Kathmandu

Dear friends

The Asian Human Rights Commission is forwarding information from the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) on arbitrary arrest and torture of two young men in a Kathmandu police station in Nepal. 

Raju Lama, a 22 year old, garment labourer, was arbitrary arrested for the first time in April 2003 and still being held in the Hanumandhoka District Police Office. Separately, Manoj Rai, a 17-year-old boy, was arrested from Hattigaunda, Kathmandu on 27 September 2003 and severely tortured at the the KERKAR (interrogation Section). He now reportedly has difficulty walking due to pain in his soles, back and thighs and he has also lost hearing in his left ear. Your urgent action is required to urge the local authorities to investigate these serious cases immediately and bring the perpetrators to justice. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact OMCT. 

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Case NPL 281103 / NPL 281103.CC
Arbitrary detention / Torture / Child Concern

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Nepal.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by a reliable source of the arbitrary arrests and recurrent torture of 2 youths in a Kathmandu police station in Nepal.

According to the information received, Raju Lama, a 22 year old, garment labourer from Kathmandu, and Manoj Rai, a 17 year old student of the Nandi Night Schoo at Naxal, have been arbitrarily arrested and severly tortured, notably in Hanumandhoka district police office, Kathmandu.

Raju Lama has suffered recurrent arbitrary arrests and torture over the past 6 months. In April 2003, he was arrested for the first time by a group of some 7-8 policemen in uniform from Sorhakhutte ward police office and was kept in the custody for 17 days. He was produced in the District Administration Office, in Kathmandu, for remand extension three days after his arrest. During this period, the policemen beat him on his head with wooden sticks for two days, for 15 minutes at a time. After 17 days, he was released on bail after payment of 2000 rupees. Again on May 31st, 2003, at around 6 a.m., he was arrested by 7-8 policemen in uniform of Hanumandhoka and taken to Hanumandhoka District police office. He was taken to KERKAR (interrogation Section) and was beaten for one hour by 2-3 policemen. His hands were tied behind his back and he was forced to lie down and was beaten with a stick on his soles. A stick was kept under his knees and two policemen rolled over his thighs with wooden stick for 15 minutes. He fainted for some time. Again on the next day, he was taken to the same room and some 4-5 policemen beat him on his back with a stick for 15 minutes periods. He was released on June 15th, 2003 from the police station without any charge. He was asked to find other offenders involved in a robbery case which he said he knew nothing about. The police of Hanumandhoka arrested him again on August 2nd, 2003. He was interrogated about the robbery case and the police threatened to arrest his family members if he denied knowing the perpetrator of the robbery. He was released on August 18th, 2003. 

Finally, he was arrested again on September 7th, 2003 at midnight while sleeping in his room. Some 8-10 plainclothes policemen arrested him. He was taken to the Hanumandhoka District Police Office and was beaten in the KERKAR for 3 days. Each day he was beaten for 1 hour with a small break in between. He was beaten with plastic pipe on his sole, scalp, thighs, back and knees. He was forced to confess the robbery as a result of the beatingsx. He was kept in custody in Hanumandhoka for two months without any letter of arrest. He was produced to the District Court of Kathmandu only on November 14th, 2003 on the charge of robbery, together with three other people: Kumar Lama, Hemkumar lama and Narayan Gharti who he says were not previously known to him. 

As a result of the torture he has endured, he has two red wounds on his right knee and several black scars on his back. He feels pain on his soles and hands. He is not provided with any kind of medical treatment and medicine. He was not asked about torture when produced in court. He is still being held in Hanumandhoka. An NGO was reportedly able to visit him on November 25th, and filed an application for his physical and mental medical examination on November 26th, 2003.

Separately, Manoj Rai, a 17-year-old boy, was arrested on September 27th, 2003 at around 10 p.m. from Hattigaunda, Kathmandu. He was taken to the Hanumandhoka District Police Office. He has not been given a letter of arrest or produced before a court until now. According to his testimony, he was taken to the KERKAR (interrogation Section) where he was beaten for about 20 minutes with a bamboo stick on both of the soles of his feet, his back and thighs. They punched him in the head 4/5 times and he was not provided with food for two days. After four days, he was again taken to the same room and beaten for half an hour including slaps to both his ears and with a plastic pipe on his back. He was forced into telling the name of the thieves and was compelled to confess to a crime which occurred in the house of his landlord, Bal Kumar K.C. After 20 days of detention, he was again beaten for about 10-12 times with sticks on the soles of his feet, his head, back and especially his thighs. The police has since reportedly stopped beating him, but only provide him with the food brought by his father and they have not allowed him to meet with his father or any other relatives. 

He now reportedly has difficulty walking due to pain in his soles, back and thighs and he has also lost hearing in his left ear. On the day of his arrest, due to the severe beating, he urinated blood. He is also suffering from insomnia. Some black scars and contusions could be seen on his back. An NGO reportedly visited him on November 26th and has filed an Habeas corpus petition on his behalf, as the police has been keeping him illegally in custody until now.

The International Secretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned by these cases of arbitrary arrest, detention and torture in Nepal. OMCT calls for the Nepalese government to launch impartial investigations into these cases and to immediately suspend the suspected perpetrators of the acts of torture, notably from Hanumandhoka district police office, Kathmandu. OMCT is especially concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of the victims. OMCT requests that urgent rehabilitation measures be taken. 

Concerning the case of Manoj Rai, OMCT recalls that Nepal, as a state party to the Convention of the Rights of the Child, is bound by the provisions that a child shall only be deprived of liberty “(…) as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time” (Art. 37 (b)), as well as the “guarantee to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law (i) and to have the matter determined without delay by a competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body in a fair hearing according to law (iii)” (Art. 40, §2.(b)).

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Nepal urging them to:

i. take all measures necessary to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Raju Lama and Manoj Rai;
ii. order their immediate release in the absence of legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards, or, if such charges exist, bring them before an impartial and competent tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times;
iii. guarantee that they are granted access to legal representation and family visits;
iv. intervene with the proper authorities to ensure that adequate medical assistance is provided as a matter of urgency to them;
v. order a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances of these events, notably the alleged acts of torture, in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
vi. guarantee that adequate reparation is provided to them, as victims of abuses;
vii. take all necessary measures to ensure respect for the international human rights instruments to which Nepal is party, which includes respect for the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment.


1. Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa, Prime Minister’s Office, Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal, Fax:+ 977 1 4 227 286 
2. Gyanendra Raj Rai, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Head, APF Human Rights Cell, Armed Police Force (APF), Halchowk, Swayambhu, Kathmandu, Nepal, Fax: + 977 1 4 411 384
3. Shyam Bhakta Thapa, Inspector General of Police, Police Headquarters, Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal, Fax: + 977 1 4 415 593 / 415 594
4. Ambassador, Acharya, Gyan Chandra, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Nepal, 81 rue de la Servette, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +4122 7332722, E-mail:

Please also write to the embassies of Nepal in your respective country.

Geneva, November 28th, 2003

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT)
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
Organización Mundial Contra la Tortura (OMCT)
8 rue du Vieux-Billard
Case postale 21
CH-1211 Geneve 8
Tel. : 0041 22 809 49 39
Fax : 0041 22 809 49 29
E-mail :


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-42-2003
Countries : Nepal,
Issues : Arbitrary arrest & detention, Child rights, Torture,