CCPR/C/132/D/2615/2015 Advance unedited version 1. The author of the communication is Devi Maya Nepal (pseudonym), a national of Nepal born in 1973. She claims that the State party has violated her rights under article 7, read alone and in conjunction with articles 2 (1)-(3), 3 and 26 of the Covenant. She also claims that the State party has violated her rights under articles 17 and 23, each read alone and in conjunction with articles 2 (1), 2 (3), 3 and 26 of the Covenant. The Optional Protocol entered into force for the State party on 14 August 1991. The author is represented by TRIAL (Track Impunity Always). Facts as presented by the author 2.1 The author maintains that the present communication must be read in the context of the decade-long armed conflict (1996-2006) between the Government and the Communist Party of Nepal. Systematic gross human rights violations, including torture and sexual violence, took place during the conflict. Because of widespread impunity, victims of those violations have not received adequate redress for the harm that they suffered. Sexual violence during the conflict was seriously underreported because victims experienced stigma, shame, fear of retaliation, and fear of further victimization. Furthermore, it was futile to report acts of sexual violence because the State party’s authorities, including the police, did not act in response to allegations against members of the Armed Forces.1 Members of marginalized castes and ethnic communities were disproportionately affected by the conflict, as they were targeted for recruitment by the Communist Party of Nepal. Women belonging to the most marginalized communities were more vulnerable to sexual violence. 2 In a report issued in 2012, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights made the following findings: systematic torture, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, took place during the conflict in Nepal; security forces appeared to have perpetrated the majority of cases of sexual violence during their searches for Maoists; women suspected of supporting Maoists faced particularly severe violence; a culture of impunity for opportunistic sexual violence existed; a suspicion of Maoist affiliation was used as an excuse to avoid scrutiny or accountability; action was rarely taken in response to allegations of sexual violence by members of the security forces; victims of sexual violence feared retaliation or further victimization were they to report such acts; and stigma was attached to victims of sexual violence both during war and in peacetime. 3 2.2 The author belongs to the indigenous community of the Tharu, a group living mainly in the southern region of the Terai, which borders India. When the events at issue in the communication took place, the author was working as a labourer and a housewife. She was married and had a three-year-old daughter. The family lived in extremely poor economic conditions. 2.3 On 20 August 2002, approximately 200 members of the Royal Nepalese Army and the Armed Police Force of Nepal raided the village where the author lived. At the time, the author and her daughter were at home. A group of six uniformed soldiers entered the author’s house and stated that they were searching for Maoist insurgents. The soldiers repeatedly asked the author whether she was hiding or feeding insurgents. The soldiers then started touching the author’s genitals and hitting her with boots and the butts of their guns. They dragged her to a nearby bed where the author’s daughter was sleeping. Each time the author screamed, they hit her on the head with a gun. The author then fell on the bed and the soldiers tied her legs and hands and undressed her. They shouted sexual insults at her, squeezed her breasts and subjected her to vaginal rape. The soldiers threatened to kill her if she reported the incident. She was beaten more each time that she tried to resist, until she fell unconscious. When she regained consciousness, the soldiers had left and she was surrounded by her 1 2 3 2 The author cites, for example, Committee against Torture, Report on Nepal adopted under article 20 of the Convention, U.N. Doc. A/67/44, Annex XIII (2011), para. 108; and Human Rights Watch, “Silenced and Forgotten: Survivors of Nepal’s Conflict-era Sexual Violence” (2014), p. 20 and 31; and Institute of Human Rights Communication, Nepal (IHRICON), “Sexual Violence in the ‘People’s War’: The Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Girl in Nepal” (2007). The author cites, for example, International Centre for Transitional Justice and Advocacy Forum, “Across the Lines: The Impact of Nepal’s Conflict on Women,” p. 45 and 46. The author cites Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, “The Nepal Conflict Report” (2012).

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