KATHMANDU, June 27:Jhapa, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's home district, has been found to have the highest number of torture complains in 2015.
According to the report 'Counting Torture During 2015', newly released by the human rights NGO Advocacy Forum-Nepal, the use of torture in places of detention was high in Banke, Kathmandu and Kaski also.
Torture in Jhapa was reported by 20 out of 58 detainees contacted, making this the highest rate of torture among the districts surveyed, the report stated.
The NGO had carried out its study in 10 districts, including Kathmandu, Morang, Banke, Kaski, Kanchanpur, Rupandehi, Baglung, Myagdi, Parbat and Jhapa.
Torture methods included beating with fists, sticks and plastic pipes and kicking with boots, mentions the report.
“Officials inflicted torture on detainees to elict confessions, and used torture and the threat of torture to intimidate the detainees into compliance and silence,” the report said.
The research team also found cases of psychological torture, said Bikash Basnet, program coordinator at Advocacy Forum. “Some detainees were threatened with disappearance or death if they did not confess to crime and many told our team that they were threatened with further torture if they complained to medical staff or human rights bodies,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, Anup Raj Sharma, said that the practice of torture in detention remains a major challenge to human rights.
Sepaking at a function to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, he asked the authorities concerned to turn their attention to abolishing all types of torture in detention, along with corporal punishment in schools. He requested the government to formulate laws against torture to make Nepal a torture-free country.
At the function, Home Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet emphasized the need to change the practice of using victims' statements made during detention as proof of crime. Evidence-based investigation should be encouraged, he said.