The United Nations human rights office in Nepal today said that it has been assured by local Government officials that two landmark verdicts on cases involving caste-based discrimination will be swiftly enforced.
Last January, the District Court in Baitadi sentenced the main perpetrator behind attacks against 12 Dalits – or so-called untouchables – at a temple to two years in prison and a fine of 25,000 rupees.
In March of this year, the same court found a man guilty of physically assaulting the father of the groom during a wedding ceremony in July 2009 for practicing rituals “reserved for high-caste communities.” The perpetrator was sentenced to one year in prison and fined 5,000 rupees.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) and the National Dalit Commission (NDC) said today that that have been assured by local authorities, including the Senior Superintendent of Police in Mahakali zone and the Deputy Superintendent of Police in Baitadi, that the two verdicts will be implemented quickly.
In spite of repeated calls by OHCHR, the NDC, Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission and others, the court decisions have not been implemented.
OHCHR and the NDC both welcomed the assurances they received from local authorities during a four-day joint mission to assess the overall human rights situation of Dalit communities in Nepal’s eastern region.
The mission, said Jyoti Sanghera, OHCHR-Nepal’s Deputy Representative, uncovered many obstacles preventing Dalit communities from enjoying their fundamental human rights.
“I call on the Government to undertake all necessary steps to address these challenges, and to execute the court orders as soon as possible,” she stressed.