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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                          

Kingdom of Nepal

Constitutional guarantees of due process are poorly upheld in practice. Reports of arbitrary arrests continue. Due to heavy case backlogs and a slow appeals process, suspects are frequently kept in pretrial detention for periods longer than the sentences they would face if tried and convicted...  [Freedom House Country Report, 2018]

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Nepal

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Nepal.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

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Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 18 May 2020]


Constitutional guarantees of due process are poorly upheld in practice. Reports of arbitrary arrests continue. Due to heavy case backlogs and a slow appeals process, suspects are frequently kept in pretrial detention for periods longer than the sentences they would face if tried and convicted.

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nepal

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 29 July 2021]


According to human rights activists and legal experts, police resorted to severe abuse, primarily beatings, to force confessions. The Nepal human rights group AF also reported that law enforcement personnel subjected violators of the COVID-19 lockdown to inhuman and degrading treatment. Violators were detained for hours in the sun, forced to do sit-ups, frog jumps, and crawl on the road. AF and THRDA reported annual decreases of torture and mistreatment, although THRDA noted that this trend did not hold in the southern portion of the country. AF stated that police increasingly complied with the courts’ demand for preliminary medical checks of detainees.

AF reported that 19 percent of the 1,005 detainees interviewed in 2019 reported some form of torture or ill treatment. These numbers were even higher among women (26.3 percent) and juvenile detainees (24.5 percent).

Investigate police torture of Tharu community members: AI

Kathmandu Post, 19 July 2016

[accessed 2 August 2016]

The AI has stated that 18 of the 19 detainees interviewed said they had been tortured from the moment the police took them into custody. The detainees have reported beating and torture immediately upon arrest. Some said that they were beaten until they fell unconscious.

The detainees interviewed have reported police beating them with bamboo sticks, boots, lathis (bamboo-made police batons), plastic pipes, and ‘whatever came to their hand’.

All detainees said they were then forced to sign “confessions” admitting to their alleged crimes, without even being allowed to read the document. Ram Prasad Chaudhary, a detainee who was subjected to extensive torture, said that the police used force to hold his hand and secure a signed “confession”.

Nepal army officer goes on trial for torture in London

Worldbulletin News, 24 February 2015

[accessed 30 March 2015]

A Nepali army colonel went on trial at London's Old Bailey on Tuesday on charges of torture during a 10-year civil war, in a case the government of the Himalayan state has sought in vain to keep out of the courts.

Kumar Lama is charged by British prosecutors with inflicting "severe pain or suffering" on Nepali citizens Janak Bahadur Raut and Karam Hussain in an army barracks in April and May 2005, according to court listings and lawyers.

Lama was arrested in the southern British town of St Leonards-on-Sea in January 2013 while on leave from a U.N. mission in South Sudan. He was arrested under Section 134 of the Criminal Justice Act, which gives British courts universal jurisdiction to pursue those accused of torture.

Prisons in East turning into ‘torture chambers’

Awadhesh Kumar JHA, Kantipur Publications, 23 February 2015

[accessed 30 March 2015]

The National Human Rights Council (NHRC) has warned that prison facilities in the country are turning into “torture chambers”.

Organising a press meet in the district on Sunday following the conclusion of the six-day long field supervision of prisons in eastern-Nepal, coordinator Sudip Pathak of the national rights watchdog team said that most of the prisons that were inspected were in dire straits without adequate food, drinking water supply and other basic necessities.

“We also found that inmates were kept in a room without windows at the facility, often in inhumane conditions, which is an outright denial of human rights,” Pathak said.

Torture still common in detention centres

Himalayan News Service, Kathmandu, 25 June 2014

[accessed 30 June 2014]

[accessed 28 August 2016]

[accessed 9 January 2019]

Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment are still common in detention centres, says a report released today.

The report titled Promising Development – Persistent Problems: Trends and Patterns in Torture in Nepal During 2013 released by Advocacy Forum reveals that at least 16.7 per cent detainees were tortured in the detention centres last year.

Torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of juveniles remain a major concern, with 22.9 per cent and 25.7 per cent of juveniles below eighteen and sixteen years of age respectively reporting that they were tortured in detention while 5.7 per cent women in detention reported torture, a rate lower than other groups but still unacceptably high.

Police torture a Tamang family in Dhading district

Asian Human Rights Commission, 17 June 2014

[accessed 17 June 2014]

CASE NARRATIVE - On 7 February, personnel from the Jivanpur Police Station arrested two children, Ruben (9 years) and Prabesh (10 years), and took them to the Police Station. The arrests followed the complaint of theft, of money, gold, and silver, lodged by Mrs. Sunamati and Mr. Buddhi Tamang, who happen to be relatives.

The police severely tortured the two boys. The boys were subject to common methods of torture such as falanga (beating of the soles of the feet) and random beatings using a plastic pipe and stick. They were also kicked and boxed on their back, heads, and legs. The police would torture the boys for the whole day and allow them to go home at night. Daily, the boys would be taken to the police station and tortured. The torture continued for 9 consecutive days.

The mother to the boys, Mrs. Shanti Tamang, heard their painful and piercing cries as she waited outside the police station, having been denied permission to meet her children. On the 9th day, the police took them to Khanikhola Police Station located in the same district. The boys were tortured the whole day. On the 10th day, they were forced to sign a confession statement and released.

Nepali torture victim petitions UN for justice

The Himalayan Times, Kathmandu, 20 February 2014

[accessed 24 Feb 2014]

[accessed 28 August 2016]

Prashanta Pandey, a Nepali victim of torture, filed a complaint at the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva seeking justice.

He was tortured in order to extract from him a confession on his alleged involvement in the planning and execution of a bomb-explosion perpetrated on March 27, 2011. He was forced to accept the accusation on April 13, 2011.

During his detention with the police, Pandey was repeatedly beaten, kept constantly blindfolded and handcuffed, insulted and threatened, Trial said in a statement issued today from Geneva.

He was even forced to urinate on a live electric heater, provoking a shock that made him bleed from his genitals and faint. He never received any medical treatment or attention.

Police arbitrarily arrest and torture two men in Kathmandu

Asian Human Rights Commission - Urgent Appeals Programme

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-120-2013 ,16 September 2013

[accessed 17 Sept 2013]

According to the victims, they were then kept together in a room containing a table, chairs, bamboo sticks and plastic pipes. Rabi was immediately blindfolded and tortured. The three police officers present in the room punched and kicked his face, his chest, his bottom, his thighs, his back with their police boots. They slapped his ears, cheeks, face and eyes several times.

They forced him to stand on his head and hands and used bamboo sticks to beat the soles of his feet. The torture lasted until he could not bear the pain anymore and agreed to everything they asked. The torture then stopped and the policemen started the interrogation again.

As Rabi could not answer those questions, the policemen handcuffed him, forced his knees through his handcuffed hands and inserted a stick through his bended knees. Two policemen lifted the stick and a third policeman kicked on his bottom and back. They lifted him and let him fall down on the floor several times. Rabi became unconscious repeatedly. The torture continued until one policeman told the others to stop for fear that the victim would get killed. Then he was given some water and time to rest. However, the policemen then started to torture him again turn by turn. After the victim told them that one of his legs had been broken in a car accident, they beat more intensively the previously injured leg. They forced the victim to jump for a while, a way to attenuate the appearance of blue marks due to torture. As he could not jump properly, they kicked him and beat him again using sticks. Two policemen held him by the arms and carried him down to the detention cell of the Metropolitan Police Range (MPR), Hanumandhoka at around 11 pm.

In the meanwhile, Dudhraj had been tortured on the other side of the room. After he denied knowing anything about the stolen gold, a police inspector ordered his subordinates to torture him. Some policemen forced him to lie down on the floor and one of them stepped on his legs with his boots. They beat on the soles of his feet, slapped his face and made him jump. The torture continued until 11 pm that evening where he was brought down to the MPR with Rabi.

Torture against detainees continues: Advocacy Forum

Republica, Kathmandu, 25 June 2013

[accessed 26 June 2013]

Stating that cases of torture against detainees in the country are rampant, Advocacy Forum (AF), a human rights organization, has urged the government bring an end to such inhuman practice.

According a report unveiled by AF in the capital on Tuesday, 22.3% of detainees have claimed that they were subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in detention.

“Juveniles were found particularly vulnerable, with 34.7 % of them claiming they were subjected to torture or other ill-treatment,” says the report.

AF has said that it monitored 57 detention centers in 20 districts across the country. The report has stressed the need for taking initiatives to eradicate torture in the country.

“Nepal must step up to fulfill its promise to the citizens and the international community to address the widespread problem of torture by enacting legislation criminalizing torture and bringing those found responsible to justice,” said AF President Mandira Sharma, adding, “Time has come to get our act together to end pervasive practices of torture and to reform the justice system.”

Torture Still Continues – A Brief Report on the Practice of Torture in Nepal 2006-2007

Advocacy Forum, 25 June 2007

[accessed 1 August 2017]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - Despite  the  abdication  of  absolute  rule  and  the  end  of  armed  hostilities  between  the Government  and  the  Maoists,  violations  and  abuses  have  been  rampant  since  the People’s  Movement.  Advocacy Forum alone has documented 1,313 new cases of torture. Though the power of the military to detain civilians has been curtailed, the Nepal Army (NA) still arrests and detains civilians and inflicts torture upon them. AF has documented 17 cases of torture, 4 cases of rape and 6 cases of illegal detention of civilian by the military after April 2006.

Advocacy  Forum’s  documentation  of  police  detention  centres  has  shown  that  the  People’s Movement  has  not  led  to  any  significant  amelioration  in  detention  practices.  Of  the  3,908 detainees interviewed since April 2006, 27.6% were subjected to acts of torture. AF has also documented 67 cases of torture, 1 case of rape, and 96 cases of abduction committed by the Maoists since the People’s Movement of April 2006.

Common methods of torture include electrocution; sexual abuse and rape threats; restriction of food, water, and use of toilet; excessive beating by iron rods and bamboo sticks, especially on the soles of the feet and back; and death threats and threats of indefinite detention.

A Warning to Rights Abusers

Human Rights Watch, London, 4 January 2013

[accessed 6 February 2013]

The Nepal authorities have failed to file a single prosecution in civilian courts concerning war crimes, including torture, despite numerous cases in which evidence has been presented to the authorities by victims, their families, and national and international organizations.

Although torture is not a specific crime in Nepal, the Nepali government is bound by international law to ensure that serious international crimes such as torture are investigated and those responsible are prosecuted. The failure to prosecute these cases also contradicts the Nepal government’s public pronouncements about delivering justice for wartime atrocities and orders of the Nepali Supreme Court to investigate and prosecute wartime abuse cases. Several people alleged to be responsible for these abuses from both the Nepali security forces and the former Maoist insurgents have been promoted, some to positions in which they can directly interfere in criminal investigations.

Nepal police 'torture kids for fun:' rights group

Agence France-Presse AFP, KATHMANDU, Nov 18, 2008

[accessed 14 September 2014]

[accessed 28 August 2016]

[accessed 1 August 2017]

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said it had received more than 200 reports this year of the torture in police custody of street children or minors suspected of crimes.  "Sometimes, the torture is inflicted to extract confessions from the children," said Human Rights Watch researcher Bede Sheppard.  "At other times it appears to be carried out purely for the entertainment of the official," Sheppard said.  The youngest alleged victim of police torture was a 13-year-old, and methods of torture reported on the minors included kicking, punching, forcing metal nails under toenails and beatings with plastic pipes, the rights group said.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/NPL/CO/2 (2007)

[accessed 4 March 2013]

Widespread use of torture

13. The Committee is gravely concerned about the exceedingly large number of consistent and reliable reports concerning the widespread use of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement personnel, and in particular the Royal Nepalese Army, the Armed Police Force and the Police, and the absence of measures to ensure the effective protection of all members of society (arts. 2 and 11).

The State party should publicly condemn the practice of torture and take effective measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.  The State party should also take all measures, as appropriate, to protect all members of society from acts of torture.


14. The Committee is also concerned about:

(a) The number of detainees in prolonged detention without trial under the Public Security Act and the Terrorist and Disruptive (Control and Punishment) Ordnance (TADO) of 2004;

(b) The extensive resort to pretrial detention lasting up to 15 months and the lack of fundamental guarantees under the Terrorist and Disruptive (Control and Punishment) Ordnance 2005 of the rights of persons deprived of liberty, including the right to challenge arrest, resulting in numerous alleged cases of incommunicado detention.

The State party should bring the practice of pretrial detention into line with international human rights norms and ensure that the fundamental rights of persons deprived of liberty are guaranteed, including the right to habeas corpus, the right to inform a relative, and the right of access to a lawyer and a doctor of one’s choice.  The State party should ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism is in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1566 (2004), which require that anti-terrorist measures be carried out with full respect for, inter alia, international human rights law, including the Convention.  The State party should provide to the Committee information on the number of people still in pretrial detention.


From an old article -- URL not available

Article was published sometime prior to 2015


Despite acceding to the UN Convention against Torture in 1991, Nepal had not defined torture as a crime under national law. In April, the Council of Ministers announced plans for a bill to criminalize torture, but this had not been completed by the time the Constituent Assembly was dissolved. In July, the UN Human Rights Committee reminded Nepal of its obligation to enact a law defining and criminalizing torture, and to repeal all laws granting impunity to alleged perpetrators of torture and enforced disappearance. Torture and other ill-treatment of men, women and children in police custody remained widespread. The UN Committee against Torture concluded in its annual report that torture in Nepal was habitual, widespread and deliberate, and was ultimately practised systematically.


Efforts to ensure accountability for human rights violations and victims’ rights to justice, truth and reparation were seriously undermined by the government’s promotion of individuals alleged to have committed human rights violations to senior public positions.

Kuber Singh Rana, the subject of ongoing criminal investigations into the 2003 enforced disappearance and extrajudicial execution of five students in Dhanusha district, was promoted to the rank of Inspector General of Police in September.

The promotion of Raju Basnet, a colonel suspected of involvement in war crimes, to the rank of Brigadier General in October was widely condemned by human rights activists and put on hold following a stay order issued by the Supreme Court in the same month.

The government continued to request the withdrawal of criminal cases against individuals affiliated with political parties, as part of a commitment under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and subsequent agreements to withdraw cases of a “political” nature. No clear definition of a “political case” was provided, and many cases recommended for withdrawal involved murder, abduction and other serious crimes.


Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 4   Civil Liberties: 4   Status: Partly Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 6 February 2013]

LONG URL   ç 2009 Country Reports begin on Page 21

[accessed 13 May 2020]

In ordinary criminal cases, police at times commit extrajudicial killings and cause the disappearance of suspects in custody. They also occasionally torture and beat suspects to punish them or to extract confessions. In November 2008, Human Rights Watch reported that police had beaten over 200 children while in custody for petty crimes in 2008. The government generally has refused to conduct thorough investigations or take serious disciplinary measures against officers accused of brutality.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 6 February 2013]

[accessed 4 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits torture, beating, and mutilation; however, security forces regularly engaged in such activities to punish suspects or to extract confessions. The Center for Victims of Torture (CVICT), a local NGO, reported that blindfolding and beating the soles of feet were commonly used methods. The government failed to conduct thorough and independent investigations of reports of security force brutality and generally did not take significant disciplinary action against those involved. Citizens were afraid to bring cases against the police or the army for fear of reprisals.

On September 16, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture concluded that the police, APF, and RNA systematically practiced torture and ill-treatment in order to extract confessions and to obtain intelligence against Maoists. The government insisted it was committed to preventing human rights abuses and indicated that disciplinary action had been taken against the guilty. The RNA stated it had looked into 179 cases of alleged torture presented by the UN. The NHRC has not received information regarding disciplinary action taken by the RNA in these cases.

The law provides for compensation for victims of torture. According to CVICT, 9 persons filed for compensation under the act during the year, and of the 184 cases filed since the act was created in 1996, the court made a decision to award compensation in 26 cases, but at year's end, compensated only one claimant.

On July 24, six armed plainclothes security forces took Lokendra Khadka from his house in Kathmandu with his hands tied behind his back and a hood over his head. Security forces threatened to kill him and used water torture, beatings, and electric shocks to force him to admit to being a Maoist.

On September 12, Shiv Bohora, 23, acting president of the Nepal Student Union at Mahendra Ratna Campus, Kathmandu, claimed that police beat him with batons, boots, and the butts of their rifles, causing him to lose control of his bladder and bowels, and ultimately lose consciousness after he was arrested for throwing stones in a campus protest. Police were investigating the incident, and the case remained open at year's end.

There were numerous allegations of torture by Maoists insurgents (see section 1.g.).

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Nepal",, [accessed <date>]