The Amnesty International published its annual report for 2016/17 and says the following about the excessive use of force, freedom of expression, and discrimination in Nepal.
Tens of thousands of people continued to be denied the right to adequate housing and other human rights following the 2015 earthquake. Marginalized groups expressed dissatisfaction with constitutional amendments, on the grounds that they did not address discriminatory clauses. The use of torture and unnecessary or excessive force against protesters in the Tarai region were not effectively investigated. There was little progress on justice for the grave human rights violations committed during the armed conflict. Migrant workers were exploited by recruitment companies despite a new government policy regulating the sector. Discrimination on the basis of gender, caste, class, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and religion persisted. Women and girls were not adequately protected against gender-based violence.
EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE
The use of torture and unnecessary or excessive force against protesters in the Tarai region were not effectively investigated.
Madhesi and other marginalized groups in the Tarai continued to protest against the 2015 Constitution and its January amendments which, they claimed, discriminated against them and denied them fair political representation. Protesters blocked border crossings with India resulting in severe shortages of fuel, food, medicine and construction materials.
In August, an official commission to investigate incidents of excessive force by security forces in the Tarai during these protests which resulted in the killing of 27 men, four women and six children, and other incidents, was established but made little progress.
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
In April, the office of Prime Minister Oli summoned commissioners of the National Human Rights Commission for questioning about a statement they made while Nepal was being examined under the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.
In May, Kanak Dixit, a journalist and activist, was arrested by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority on corruption charges. Ten days after his arrest, the Supreme Court ruled that his detention was illegal and ordered his release. Kanak Dixit said his arrest was an attempt to silence his critical views.
In the same month, Canadian national residing in Nepal, Robert Penner, was arrested and deported for sowing “social discord” in social media. During the year, Madhesi activist Chandra Kant Raut and several supporters faced multiple sedition charges for peacefully expressing political opinions.
Discrimination on the basis of gender, caste, class, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and religion persisted.
Constitutional amendments did not guarantee equal rights to citizenship for women, or provide protection from discrimination to marginalized communities, including Dalits and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.
The law criminalizing rape was amended so that the statute of limitations on reporting the crime was raised from 35 to 180 days rather than being abolished altogether as required by human rights standards. Genderbased discrimination continued to undermine women’s and girls’ rights to control their sexuality and make informed choices related to reproduction; challenge early and forced marriages; and enjoy adequate antenatal and maternal health care. Women continued to face domestic violence, including marital rape. Women from marginalized groups, including Dalits and Indigenous women, remained at greater risk of intersecting forms of discrimination.