Gay Men Arrested in Nepal; Human Rights Group Decries Abuse
U.K., August 12, 2004
By Ben Townley, Gay.com U.K.
SUMMARY: An international human rights group is
calling on authorities in Nepal to release the members of a gay rights
organization currently being detained in the country.
An international human rights group is calling on
authorities in Nepal to release the members of a gay rights organization
currently being detained in the country.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the 39 members of the Blue
Diamond Society, one of the country’s more prominent gay groups, were
arrested during raids carried out in the city’s capital Kathmandu last
Police officers stormed gay bars and venues frequented by
transgender people during the raids, which are the latest in a string of
attacks on the country’s gay community.
Last month, Nepalese police were accused of
“atrocities” against members of the Blue Diamond Society, after a peaceful
protest calling for equality led to beatings and violence.
The Blue Diamond Society was threatened with closure
earlier this year, after the Nepalese Supreme Court accused it of “promoting
The government is thought to be in the process of
reporting back to the court with an answer to the issue.
Although the latest arrest has led to no charges, the
prisoners are being detained after officers claimed they were “disturbing
In a statement today, HRW urged the Nepalese government
to not only release the members of the group, but to also end discrimination
and harassment of the country’s sexual diversity community.
“The Blue Diamond Society has faced harassment from the
Nepalese government as they defend the rights of some of the most vulnerable
members of society,” said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
and Transgender Rights Project at Human Rights Watch.
“In a context of an escalating civil war, respect for
the rule of law is steadily eroding in Nepal,” said Long.
“Nepalese authorities must show their commitment to
ensuring basic rights for all people without discrimination.”
The government or police have yet to comment on the
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