Nepal: Case of Torture by the military — Asian Human Rights Commission


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-18-2003
ISSUES: Torture,

Dear Friends

AHRC is informed of a severe case of torture by the military in Nepal. Besides, recently many other torture cases are reported from Nepal. Your urgent action is required and we firmly believe that all efforts should be made urgently for impartial investigation of the allegations, medical treatment, and safety to the victims, the family members, witness and the lawyers.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk

Asian Human Rights Commission

Explanation of Torture Case:

Nau Bahadur Tamang (21-year-old, male worker) was arrested by soldiers on July 24, 2002. At Srijung Army Barrack in Jiri, Dolkha District, Tamang was severely tortured by means of beating, kicking, whipping with belts and even electric torture. He fainted several times while he was tortured. After two-months of detention in Jiri Army Barrack, he was sent to several army barracks and police offices where he got tortured seriously and continuously. He was blindfolded for the first 3 months during the detention period.

On January 10, he was charged under TADA (Terrorist and Destructive Activities Prevention and Punishment)) at the Appellate Court in Kathmandu. When Advocacy Forum lawyers visited Tamang, he complained of diminished vision, disorientation of time, diminished memory, chest, rib, and other body pains, nightmares, and a lack of interest to live. Despite the order of the court, police refused to provide medical assistance to Tamang, claiming they did not have funds. The Forum has however been able to provide medical service to him since February 26, 2003.

On May 28, 2003, the Forum filed the case for compensation under the Torture Compensation Act to the District Court of Lalitpur. This is the first case in Nepal charging army personnel for a case of torture compensation. The victim, Nau Bahadur Tamang, is in Nakhu Prison, Lalitpur District. Advocacy Forum has been providing legal aid for his case. As there have been many incidents where the army forced victims to retract information and threatened their lives, we fear for the safety of Mr. Ram Bahadur Tamang, father of Nau Bahadur Tamang, and the two witnesses of the case, Mr. Tenjing Sherpa and Mrs. Dolma Tamang.


1 In Nepal, there is no specific law which defines Torture as a crime. Even in the Torture Compensation Act (TCA), the act of Torture is not defined as a crime. In the TCA, compensation may be awarded to victims of Torture, but the perpetrators of the Torture itself are not punishable because, as stated, in law, they have not committed a crime.

Additionally, Nepal has no other specific law that defines Torture as a crime. The only recourse is to the ¡®beating¡¯ section of the Civil Code in Nepal, where physical assault is defined as a crime. However, the Civil Code gives fines/punishment according to the nature of the wound, and furthermore does not make any provision for the psychological effects of Torture.

Even more important is the fact that even this ‘beating’ section of the Civil Code does not provide any specific provision for assault which has taken place whilst the victim is in custody, that is, with State involvement.

2 It is mandatory to maintain a medical report on a detainee at the beginning and again on their release, and a copy has to be sent to the District Court. However, this provision is hardly applied, and the Police rarely maintain such records, nor does a Judge scrutinize the records (if any). Consequently, very few lawyers use this clause in Court.

3 Torture is defined very narrowly, and torture outside custody seems to be totally exempt.

Other Torture Cases in Nepal, which require impartial investigation:

1. Mr Timilsina (21 years old) was arrested by three policemen from the District Police Office, Hanumandhoka on 06 May 2003, on suspicion of theft and murder. In the Interrogation Section of the District Police Office, Hanumandhoka, approximately 8 to 10 policemen forced Mr Timilsina to lie down on the floor, and then beat him continuously on his thighs and back for about half an hour. They then tied both his legs and inserted a stick between them so that he was unable to move them. The policemen then beat him indiscriminately on his thighs, legs and the soles of his feet, with bamboo sticks and plastic pipes. The policemen dragged him by his hair and stepped upon it at times.

Mr Kiran Tamang (16 years old) was arrested from his residence on a charge of theft, taken to the Ward Police Station, Gaushala on 10 February 2003. While Mr Tamang was in Gaushala Police Office, 4 or 5 policemen beat him severely for about an hour with a wooden stick, on the soles of his feet, his back, and the palms of his hands. He was given no food. In the District Police Office, Hanumandhoka, Mr Tamang was kept in the Interrogation Section for about 5 to 6 hours and was beaten for about 3 hours continuously and even was given electric shocks for about half an hour. Mr Tamang complained that, as a result of torture, he is suffering from anorexia, insomnia, chest pain and difficulty when moving.

Mr Rudra Shikarim (33 years old) had been beaten by 6 or 7 policemen who lashed him on the soles of his feet about 10 times with a wooden stick. Mr Shikarim was also beaten with a wooden stick about 10-15 times on his back and calves. The policemen also beat him on various parts of his body, and punched and kicked him with their heavy boots as well.

Mr Sanjay Yonzon (22 years old) was arrested on the charge of fraud on 06 May 2003. In the Ward Police Station, Narayanthan, two policemen made Mr Yonzon lie down on the floor. Then they beat him with a wooden stick for about 5 minutes on the soles of both his feet, after which he was made to jump up and down the floor continuously for about 5 minutes. In the Interrogation Section in District Police Office, Hanumandhoka, a policeman lashed him about 3-4 times on his buttocks with a plastic pipe, then he was hit with blows on the chest and shoulder. The policeman also kicked him with his heavy boots on his left knee about twice. Mr Yonzon had a blood clot which could be seen on his left calve.

Mr Kamal Tamang (28 years old) was arrested on 08 April 2003 in Kapan. The inspector from the Ward Police Station, Kapan beat him randomly with a wooden stick on his thighs, back and hips. Then, after about an hour, he was taken to the Ward Police Station, Baudha, where he was severely tortured for two days. In the Interrogation Section in the District Police Office, Hanumandhoka, Mr Tamang was again tortured continuously from 9am in the morning to 4pm in the afternoon by policemen using plastic pipes and wooden sticks simultaneously. He was tortured in the same manner on 3 different days, with a gap of 2-3 days in between. The policemen continuously whipped him on the palms of his hands, soles of his feet and on his calves and his back.

Mr Sundar Lama (17 years old) was arrested on 23 April 2003 on the suspicion of robbery. At the Ward Police Station, Tinkune, about 3-4 policemen told him to get into a sitting position, and then put a wooden stick between his legs, after which both his legs were tied together so that he was unable to move them. The policemen started to continuously beat him on his back, arms and buttocks with a plastic pipe for about one and half-hours. Then he was told to face down on the floor and was again whipped for about one and half hours, this time on the soles of both his feet, after which he was made to jump up and down the floor for about 10 minutes. He was tortured in the same manner for 4 days continuously, and was subsequently bedridden on the fourth day.


Write a letter/fax to the following people:

Surya Bahadur Thapa

Office of the Prime Minister,

Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal

Tel: +977 1 228555 or 227955

Fax: + (977 1) 227 286/422 3838/442 8220/442 8570

The Chief Justice

Mr. Keshav Prasad Upadhaya

Tel: +977 1 262546

Fax: +977 1 262878

H.E. Gyan Chandra Acharya

Ambassador to the United Nations,

Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Nepal,

81 rue de la Servette,

1201 Geneva, Switzerland

Fax: + 41 22 7332722;


The Inspector General of Police

Mr. Pradip Shamsher Rana

Police Headquarters,

GPO Box 407,

Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal

Tel: +977 1 414985

Fax: +977 1 41 55 93 or 1 415594

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER



I am very concerned that severe torture cases are continued in Nepal and the apparent total impunity of the police involved. I call upon the Nepalese government to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of the detainees, as listed:

Mr. Nau Bahadur Tamang

Mr Keshav Timilsina

Mr Deepak Laya Magar

Mr Ram Kumar Karki

Mr Jairam Bhandari

Mr Rudra Shikarim

Mr Sanjay Yonzon

Mr Kamal Tamang

Mr Sundar Lama, and

Mr Kiran Tamang.

I call upon the Nepalese government to order an immediate and impartial investigation into these allegations of torture and provide treatment to the victims. I urge again that the Nepalese government should declare torture a punishable crime in the country and give compensation to the victims of torture. Beside, if such charges exist, the detainees should be brought before an impartial and competent tribunal, with the guarantee that their procedural rights be carried out at all times. In this context the Nepalese government must also guarantee the safety of victims, the family members, the witnesses and the lawyers.

Yours faithfully


Thank you.


Urgent Appeals

Asian Human Rights Commission

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA-18-2003
Countries : Nepal,
Issues : Torture,