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NEPAL - Jun 3, 2003

Kathmandu -- On April 22, 2003, police approached a group of nine men in drag who were returning home after a disco party. Calling them pejorative names such as "hijras" (referring to transgender people and people with intersex conditions, mostly men who undergo castration), "bastards", and "chakas" (a derogatory Nepali word for homosexuals), the police demanded that they go to the police station.

When some of the men asked if they had broken any laws, the police allegedly attacked the group, beating them with batons, gun butts, whipping them with belts, and kicking them for several minutes. Seven of the men were taken into custody, where they suffered further physical and verbal abuse. Two men in the group managed to escape and informed Blue Diamond Society, a local support organization for MSM (men who have sex with men). The director of the organization helped to secure their release from custody four hours later, taking them to nearby Bir Hospital.

Blue Diamond Society places this recent incident within an ongoing pattern of police abuse--including acts of arbitrary arrest and detention, physical violence, verbal abuse, intimidation, extortion, and rape--against homosexuals in Nepal.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) asks GLBT around the world to join Blue Diamond Society and IGLHRC in denouncing police violence against homosexuals. Please send urgent email messages, faxes, or letters of protest to the following addresses below. Call for an immediate and impartial investigation into this incident of police brutality. Denounce patterns of police violence against homosexuals in Kathmandu, and call for an immediate end to these practices. Demand sensitivity training for police regarding issues of sexual orientation and expression and gender identity and expression.

Rt. Hon. Nayan Bahadur Khatri
Chairman
National Human Rights Commission of Nepal
Harihar Bhavan, Pulchwok
Lalitpur, G.P.O. Box 9182
Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: +977-1-552-5659
E-mail: nhrc@nhrc-nepal.org

Ministry of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs
Singha Durbar
Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: +977-1-422-0684
Email: molaw@wlink.com.np, sakya@molaw.wlink.com.np

Inspector General of Police
Police Headquarters
G.P.O. Box 407
Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: + 977-1-441-5594
Email: info@nepalpolice.gov.np

Amnesty International Nepal
P. O. Box 135, Bagbazar
Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: +977-1-422-5489
E-mail: ain@ccsl.com.np

Please send copies of letters to:
Sunil Pant, Executive Director
Blue Diamond Society
GPO Box 8975, EPC No: 5119
Kathmandu, Nepal
Fax: +977-1-4438600
E-mail: bluediamondsociety@yahoo.com, blueds@ccslnp.com


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