Nepal: Victims of alleged human rights abuses under pressure

Two young Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, Tarnum and Tabsum Maniyar, were today pressurized by army officials from Chisapani army camp to retract information given to Amnesty International and other human rights organisations about their rape at the hands of army personnel in April 2002. The army came to the girls' house with journalists, including a TV crew, and forced the girls to make a statement to the press retracting the rape allegations. The case of the two girls featured in a Amnesty International report published on 19 December and in a BBC interview the same day. In its report Amnesty International also named army officers based at the Chisapani army camp who were implicated in the rape and who have been repeatedly accused of human rights violations.

In a message sent today to the Chief of Army Staff the organisation urged the army to take immediate action to stop the intimidation of these girls and prevent further human rights violations in the area.

'Amnesty International urges the authorities to investigate the allegations and suspend those allegedly responsible while the investigation is ongoing. We appeal to the Prime Minister, who is also the defence minister, to take immediate steps to protect the girls and their family,' the organisation said.

Amnesty International has already brought these cases to the attention of the army on 6th November 2002 but it is not known if any action has been taken.

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