Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - Page 4 News List

FEATURE: Nepalese civil war torture documented in new film

AFP, KATHMANDU

Ashok Sodari, 35, of Sanoshree village in the southern district of Bardiya, was also attacked by Maoists with axes, in 2001.

“Six or seven girls entered my house, caught me and threw me outside. They kicked me on the chest seven or eight times with boots on. Then some of them tied my legs, pushed me on the ground, put this long stone beneath my leg — the stone is still in our village — and hit my leg with axes 12 or 13 times,” he said.

Sondari was rushed to hospital, but his right leg could not be saved.

Many of the interviewees in Pandey’s documentary are victims of the insurgency, but the 29-year-old, who filmed his subjects over five months, insists that torture should not be seen as a relic of Nepal’s dark past.

“Now torture still happens in Nepal, but the victims cannot open their mouths,” Pandey said at the recent Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival, where The Resurrection was being shown to audiences in the capital, Kathmandu.

The Maoists, who now lead a caretaker administration, signed a peace accord with the government in November 2006, with both parties committing to making torturers accountable and recompensing victims of human rights abuses.

Nepal’s interim constitution identifies torture as a criminal offense, but the Himalayan nation has passed no law providing penalties for torturers and victims have found it hard to get justice from the state.

“In Nepal, there is still 100 percent impunity,” said Mandira Sharma, chairwoman of rights group Advocacy Forum Nepal.

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