2003-05-17 - press release - NHRC२०६०-०२-०३ - प्रेस विज्ञप्ति - रामाअआ

Archive ref no: NCA-18785 अभिलेखालय सि. नं.: NCA-18785

Date: 2003-05-17
National Human Rights Commission decision accused of practicing witchcraft.
The National Human Rights Commission is seriously concerned about the news regarding the death of Ms. Raheli Pariyar, a resident of Rampur-3, Ramechhap District, who was accused of being a witch and subjected to violent and inhuman torture resulting in her death.

The Government needs to seriously look into the issue of violence against women on the pretext of witchcraft, as such violence and extreme forms of torture not only undermine human dignity and norms, but are also in contravention of human rights principles.

In the meeting held at the Commission on May 6, 2003, the Commission decided on several cases of complaints received by the Commission since its establishment regarding violations of human rights on the pretext of witchcraft.

Other victims include Sudama Devi of Dewad from Parsa, Mahottari District; Marani Devi Shah from Simardahi, Mahottari District; Rampari Devi from Patanuka, Dhanusha District; Pavitri Devi Mahara Chamaar from Sakhuwa, Dhanusha District; Sagyan Devi Raya from Noklewa, Sarlahi District; Lal Maya Bika from Gaurishankar, Sarlahi District; Jagannath Mahara and his wife from Bhatauda, Kalaiya District; Devi Maya Adhikari from Paanchkhaal, Kavre District; Paro Devi Urau and Ful Maya Urau from Duhabi, Sunsari District; Manturiya Devi from Sirsiya, Parsa District, and Nar Maya Thapa Magar from Bhusafeda, Dolakha District. The victims were severely beaten and publicly accused of being involved in witchcraft and were forced to eat fecal matter and even expelled from the villages. One of the victims, Malaysia Devi succumbed to the injuries and died as a result of the torture.

The Commission has decided to write to His Majesty's Government for providing full protection of the rights to life, property and freedom of the people and prevention of occurrences of such incidents in the country by formulating laws to punish the wrongdoers and providing appropriate compensation to the victims. The Commission has therefore requested the Government to formulate proper mechanism for such issues and suggested to the Government to provide compensation of Rs. 30,000 to each victim and provide Rs. 50,000 to the dependants of the deceased Malaysia Devi. Similarly, the Commission has also requested the Government to organize human rights awareness programs and assist the Commission in its endeavors in this regard.