Nepal is currently living through times of extraordinary challenging circumstances: a de-escalating national conflict which needs to be
resolved, massive human rights abuses both by the State and the insurgents, large number of internally displaced people, civil society
organizations working under increasing pressure and vulnerable to extortion and threats and students and youth taking up violent protests
to embrace a culture of violence. Violence and aggression are everywhere to be found, be it the naked, direct violence of war and terrorism, rape and assault, or the subtler, but more pervasive
structural violence that underpins our institutions and assumptions everywhere in the world today. While the primary concern remains to be the country's politics and governance, torture in its various manifestations, be it inflicting physical or mental pain or suffering to those in custody by the State or the insurgents, beating, instances
of physically burning, rape, physical harassment has received scant attention. With the recent end of the dictatorial rule of the monarch and the restoration of multi-party democracy, solidarity against torture and supporting the victims of torture needs to be prioritized and raised by and among the politicians and also the public. Nepal
needs to celebrate June 26 as anti-torture day following the United Nation's initiative and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 3 and 5 to 11). With the culture of violence
spreading its wings, eliminating all forms of torture and violence seems to be the need of the hour.
In Nepal, following over 10 years of insurgency, there have been many cases of tortures by both the State and the insurgents. There have been cases of custodial death or death in custody of the State and also cases where the insurgents have tortured and killed the people that they have captured. Other than this, there have been examples of the general people engaged in committing tortures in one form or the other,
with or without realizing it, like sexual harassment, molestation, rape. Issues such as untouchability, inferior status accorded to women, ill treatment of household helps have been built into the fabric of the Nepali society so that they are barely questioned anymore. There is a misconception that these issues have been a part of the society for so long that it need not be changed, but this is a fundamentally wrong assumption. Unless we are able to bring about a change in the way
people think and behave about these issues, which are forms of torture, then the structural violence will persist and the society can't
While the international community focuses on forbidding the government and the insurgents to impose physical, mental or any sort of pain to
those in custody or re-emphasizing on the rights to habeas corpus for those arrested arbitrarily, the Alliance for Peace also foresees an urgent need to penetrate into the various forms of torture that has
permeated deep in to our society. Most initiatives against violence and torture revolve around the senior and elderly members of the society but mostly exclude the students and youth who are also victims of torture. The way of thinking of the youth can be molded more easily than the elders. The young people have a more open and malleable mind and have the will to expand their horizon. Keeping this in mind, I feel that raising awareness among and sensitizing the youth and mobilizing them can be effective in having a lasting effect among the way young people act and react to torture in their society.
The Alliance for Peace will make efforts to create awareness amongst the youth and students of their rights against any form of torture, and
the fact that this right is an inalienable human right. The Alliance will also try and work to sensitize and mobilize them on these issues and educate them about being legally protected against any forms of
torture. We hope to create a concerned and proactive youth group who will work towards prohibiting, investigating and helping to prosecute
all acts of torture. We also aims to educate students and youth on issues of various forms of tortures, not all committed by the State or the insurgents, but some which are inherent in our social structure.
If we can have students and youth even talk about and against tortures, it will be a step forward in the right direction. A step towards the complete abolition of acts of torture in Nepal.
Help us eliminate all acts of torture in Nepal.
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Dipendra Tamang is the Director at the Alliance for Peace - Nepal (www.afpnepal.org), a non-partisan , non-profit NGO working to enable and empower the youth of Nepal.
| Sep 25th, 2006
c vraiment beau ton article,ça nous aide à savoir plus sur d'autres horizons
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