KATHMANDU: Nepal must investigate allegations that police tortured protesters arrested during demonstrations against a new constitution that left at least 50 people dead nationwide, Amnesty International said on Tuesday (Jul 19).
Nepal was left reeling last year from months of violent clashes between police and ethnic minority protesters who say the charter leaves them politically marginalised.
Eight officers and an 18-month-old boy were killed during clashes in the southwestern town of Tikapur last August, prompting authorities to impose a curfew and arrest dozens from the Tharu ethnic minority.
In a new report, Amnesty International interviewed 20 of those arrested including a 14-year-old boy and detailed allegations of police beatings including with batons and plastic pipes.
The rights watchdog called on Kathmandu to establish a “prompt, independent, impartial and effective” investigation into the allegations and take action against those involved.
“These are merely the first steps that Nepal’s authorities must take to begin effacing the shame of this episode,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s South Asia director.
Some of those arrested told Amnesty they were forced to sign confessions. Others were denied medical attention, although one man said he received treatment after his shoulder was broken during interrogation.
One detainee said officers picked him up at midnight and took him to a police post, where they beat him up.
“Then they stopped at another police post…