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Historically, civil liberties been limited, but Nepal’s government has not been regarded as among the world’s worst violators of human rights. Nevertheless, human rights violations have increased substantially since the escalation of civil conflict in 2000, and security forces engaged in substantial numbers of these human rights violations prior to the civil conflict known as the Nepal Civil War. According to the United Nations (UN), Nepal leads the world in arbitrary abduction and detention by security forces in large part as a result of the civil conflict. The conflict between the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and government security forces has resulted in numerous allegations of human rights violations by both sides, with most victims being unarmed civilian noncombatants. The Maoists have been accused of unlawful killings, torture, and nearly 36,849 abductions. Security forces have been accused of disappearances, unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, and obstructing both courts and human rights investigations—all with impunity. However, about one-third of those abducted by security forces were released after months in secret detention, and in July 2004 the government created a committee to locate the disappeared.

Outside of the conflict, civil liberties are tenuous, and human rights abuses are common. Discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality is ubiquitous, and domestic violence, forced labor, and forced prostitution are pervasive. However, various organizations have emerged to address the needs of persons suffering discrimination. Still, civil liberties such as freedom of speech, press, and lawful assembly have been severely curtailed with King Gyanendra’s suspension of the constitution in February 2005. The government also has been criticized for ratifying human rights treaties and conventions but not incorporating human rights laws into legislation. Indeed, there are no laws against domestic violence or police torture, and the police are accused of excessive force and corruption. Because of poor communication, police outside the capital often have tremendous autonomy and discretion in handling law and order matters and often do so in ways not consistent with the law.

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Historically, civil liberties been limited, but Nepal’s government has not been regarded as among the world’s worst violators of human rights. Nevertheless, human rights violations have increased substantially since the escalation of civil conflict in 2000, and security forces engaged in substantial numbers of these human rights violations prior to the civil conflict known as the Nepal Civil War. According to the United Nations (UN), Nepal leads the world in arbitrary abduction and detention by security forces in large part as a result of the civil conflict. The conflict between the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and government security forces has resulted in numerous allegations of human rights violations by both sides, with most victims being unarmed civilian noncombatants. The Maoists have been accused of unlawful killings, torture, and nearly 36,849 abductions. Security forces have been accused of disappearances, unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, and obstructing both courts and human rights investigations—all with impunity. However, about one-third of those abducted by security forces were released after months in secret detention, and in July 2004 the government created a committee to locate the disappeared.

Outside of the conflict, civil liberties are tenuous, and human rights abuses are common. Discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality is ubiquitous, and domestic violence, forced labor, and forced prostitution are pervasive. However, various organizations have emerged to address the needs of persons suffering discrimination. Still, civil liberties such as freedom of speech, press, and lawful assembly have been severely curtailed with King Gyanendra’s suspension of the constitution in February 2005. The government also has been criticized for ratifying human rights treaties and conventions but not incorporating human rights laws into legislation. Indeed, there are no laws against domestic violence or police torture, and the police are accused of excessive force and corruption. Because of poor communication, police outside the capital often have tremendous autonomy and discretion in handling law and order matters and often do so in ways not consistent with the law.

References

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