Sexual Minorities/AIDS Group Fights Ban in Nepal Supreme Court
January 19, 2005
Nepal’s sexual minorities and AIDS group, Blue Diamond
Society, is fighting a Government ban in the Honourable Supreme Court. The ban
seeks to curb the activities of the society.
The case, filed by lawyer Achyut Prasad Kharel was taken
up for hearing today, but was adjourned as it was the end of the day and there
would have been no time for a proper hearing. writes Sunhil B. Pant in
Kharel is asking the court to rule that homosexuality be
banned in Nepal.
According to the Nepali Times, Kharel “has deemed
homosexuality to be antisocial, anti-religious, immoral and illegal” and
what the Blue Diamond Society outlawed.
“Nepal does not have any law that specifically
criminalizes or prescribe sanctions against sexual minorities or homosexual
persons,” the Blue Diamond Society said in a statement following the court
“This is totally consistent with the obligations of the
International Human Rights Laws that are applicable to Nepal by virtue of its
becoming party to the various Human Rights treaties like the ICCPR
[International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] and ICESCR
[International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights].”
This position has been upheld by the affidavits from the
Home Ministry and the Law Ministry.
“Blue Diamond appreciates the position taken by the
ministries in support of human rights of sexual minorities,” a spokesperson
said, adding that the society had “full faith” in the Honourable Supreme
“(We) hope that the Honourable Supreme Court will also
stand by the side of Human Rights, accept the positions expressed by the
ministries, and dismiss what is essentially a medieval minded misguided
petition by an anti progressive, homophobic individual,” the spokesperson
If the court finds in favour of the society, it becomes
effective and applicable law which will apply to all sexual minorities.
However, if the case fails, the Blue Diamond Society will
take the matter to the Committee on Human Rights [CHR] in Geneva.
Nepal is a signatory to the optional protocol of ICCPR
which means that any Nepali citizen who is aggrieved by any applicable law
that violates their basic human rights can file a complaint before the CHR. In
the past the CHR has deliberated on anti homosexual laws in the famous case of
Toonen-Vs-Australia, where the CHR directed the Australian State of Tasmania
to change its anti homosexual laws.
Mr. Rup Narain Shrestha from the FWLP appeared in court
as the lawyer representing the Blue Diamond Socitey. Also in court was Mr.
Aditya Bondyopadhyay, a Human Rights lawyer from New Delhi with expertise on
issues of human rights of sexual minorities, who has been deputed by Naz
Foundation International to assist the BDS and its legal team from FWLD in the
Observing proceeding were representatives of the German
Embassy who had been directed by their Foreign Ministry to monitor the
progress of the case as it has significant ramifications for the basic human
rights of all sexual minorities in Nepal.
On Friday, the Blue Diamond Society launches Nepal’s
first “alternative” weekly newspapers—the English language Blue Diamond
Weekly and Nil Hira Saptahik, the Nepali language edition.
The aim of the 8 page weekly papers is to bring the
‘voice’ of oppressed communities to public attention and to sensitise the
public at large on the issues that have been marginalized in the Nepali
They are intended to focus equally on all marginalized
groups and their issues, viz: Human Rights, women’s issues, children’s
issues, Sexuality, Gender Diversity, HIV/AIDS, Dalits and Janajatis, sex
Both titles will be launched by Greg Gibson, the Third
Secretary at the British Embassy, at the Dechenling (Garden Restaurant and
Bar) Kesharmahal, Thamel, Kathmandu.
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