OHCHR / NEPAL DALIT KILLINGS REAX

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29-May-2020 00:02:19
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed shock Friday at the killing of five men by opponents of an inter-caste relationship in Nepal last weekend, as well as several other incidents of caste-based discrimination and violence that have taken place during the COVID-19 pandemic. UNTV CH

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STORY: OHCHR / NEPAL DALIT KILLINGS REAX
TRT: 2:19
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 29 MAY 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

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1. Wide shot, Geneva skyline over lake

29 MAY 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“It is a matter of deep regret that caste-based prejudices remain deeply entrenched in our world in the 21st century. These two young people held high hopes of building a life together despite the obstacles presented by their accident of birth, and now one is dead and the other is deprived of the future she hoped for. Caste-based discrimination remains widespread, not only in Nepal but other countries, and often leads to serious harm and, as in this case, even loss of life. The High Commissioner notes that ending caste-based discrimination is fundamental to the sustainable development vision of leaving no one behind”

RECENT

3. Exterior shot, UN Geneva

29 MAY 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“Extremely disturbing reports are also emerging about a 12-year-old Dalit girl who was killed in a separate attack in Rupandehi district. She is said to have been forcibly married to her alleged rapist from a dominant caste. And the girl’s body was reportedly discovered hanging from a tree on 23 May.”

RECENT

5. Exterior shot, UN Geneva

29 MAY 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“Dalits are seen to be on the lowest rung of the caste hierarchy in Nepali society, traditionally discriminated against as “untouchables.” Despite constitutional guarantees, however impunity for caste-based discrimination and violence remains high in Nepal. The High Commissioner notes that the country has taken big strides to address this scourge, but so much more can and must be done to eradicate this type of incidents. And this is especially the case when the COVID-19 pandemic has increased their vulnerability.”

RECENT

7. Exterior shot, UN Geneva

29 MAY 2020 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: ““ Dalits in Nepal and other countries experience discrimination at every level of their daily lives, limiting their employment and educational opportunities, the places where they can collect water or worship, and their choice of who to marry. Structural barriers and discrimination force Dalits to continue low-income and dehumanising employment, such as manual scavenging, disposing of dead animals, digging graves or making leather products.”

RECENT

9. Exterior shot, UN Geneva

STORYLINE:

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed shock Friday (29 May) at the killing of five men by opponents of an inter-caste relationship in Nepal last weekend, as well as several other incidents of caste-based discrimination and violence that have taken place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Briefing journalists Rupert Colville spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated: “It is a matter of deep regret that caste-based prejudices remain deeply entrenched in our world in the 21st century.”

On 23 May, a 21-year-old Dalit man Nawaraj BK and a group of his friends from Jajarkot district travelled to Western Rukum district in Karnali province, the home of Nawaraj’s girlfriend who belonged to a so-called “dominant” caste group. They intended to escort the young woman back to their home district, allegedly at her request, but were attacked and chased into a river. Five men, four of whom including Nawaraj were Dalits, were later found dead while another person is still missing.

“These two young people held high hopes of building a life together despite the obstacles presented by their accident of birth, and now one is dead and the other is deprived of the future she hoped for,” Colville said. “Caste-based discrimination remains widespread, not only in Nepal but other countries, and often leads to serious harm and, as in this case, even loss of life. The High Commissioner notes that ending caste-based discrimination is fundamental to the sustainable development vision of leaving no one behind,” he added.


The spokesperson also said “extremely disturbing reports are also emerging about a 12-year-old Dalit girl who was killed in a separate attack in Rupandehi district. She is said to have been forcibly married to her alleged rapist from a dominant caste. And the girl’s body was reportedly discovered hanging from a tree on 23 May.”

The High Commissioner called for an independent investigation into the attacks. She stresses that the victims and their families have the right to justice, truth and reparations.

“Dalits are seen to be on the lowest rung of the caste hierarchy in Nepali society, traditionally discriminated against as “untouchables,” Colville said.

The killings have sparked outrage in Nepal, prompting the federal Ministry of Home Affairs to establish a five-member “high-level investigation committee” to look into the incident. On 26 May, police filed a complaint against 20 alleged perpetrators.

OHCHR’s spokesperson said “despite constitutional guarantees, however impunity for caste-based discrimination and violence remains high in Nepal. The High Commissioner notes that the country has taken big strides to address this scourge, but so much more can and must be done to eradicate this type of incidents. And this is especially the case when the COVID-19 pandemic has increased their vulnerability.”

Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, Dalit activists and journalists have reported several cases of caste-based discrimination, incidents of rape, assault, denial of funeral rites and discrimination at quarantine sites.

“Dalits in Nepal and other countries experience discrimination at every level of their daily lives, limiting their employment and educational opportunities, the places where they can collect water or worship, and their choice of who to marry.Structural barriers and discrimination force Dalits to continue low-income and dehumanising employment, such as manual scavenging, disposing of dead animals, digging graves or making leather products,” said Colville.
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