Rape and Ill-treatment of Devi Maya Nepal in August 2002

12.02.2016 ( Last modified: 02.11.2016 )

The case

In March 2015 TRIAL submitted a communication to the Human Rights Committee on behalf of Ms. Devi Maya Nepal (pseudonym). Ms. Devi Maya Nepal is a member of the Tharu indigenous community.

On 20 August 2002 Ms. Devi Maya Nepal was subjected to rape and other forms of ill-treatment by six members of the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA) when she was at home with her three years old daughter.

The subsequent attempts of Ms. Devi Maya Nepal to obtain justice and redress for the harm suffered were frustrated, as Nepalese authorities refused to register her claims because she did not report the rape within 35 days from having suffered such treatment (which would have been materially impossible for her).

On 22 January 2015 Ms. Devi Maya Nepal submitted a complaint to the Supreme Court of Nepal, seeking relief and requesting the latter to order that the 35-day statute of limitations is not applied in her case. The claim is currently pending before the Supreme Court of Nepal, but she has no real prospect of success, considering that the Court never disregarded the statute of limitations established under domestic legislation in individual cases and that a previous order to amend the relevant provisions remains unimplemented since 2008.

Ms. Devi Maya Nepal requests the Human Rights Committee:

  • The case is currently pending before the Human Rights Committee.


The General Context

The facts of this case must be read in the frame of human rights abuses, including widespread torture and sexual violence perpetrated during the 10-year internal armed conflict in Nepal. In particular, rape was perpetrated in a systematic manner and many women were silenced by the stigma attached to sexual violence both in war and peacetime. This must be inscribed in the prevailing context of discrimination against women and other vulnerable groups, including indigenous communities. In Nepal there is a persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes that perpetrate discrimination against women in all spheres of life. At the time of writing, no one has been convicted for rape committed during the conflict and this climate of absolute impunity has been fostered by flawed legislation. Thousands of victims, as Ms. Devi Maya Nepal, have been deprived of their rights of access to justice and reparations.


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