Amnesty International launches campaign urging Indian PM to help Gurgaon rape victims from Nepal

Amnesty International India has launched an online campaign to create pressure on Saudi Arabia to extradite one of its diplomat formerly based in India so that he can be tried for his alleged role in perpetrating extreme sexual violence against two Nepalese women.

The 31 and 50 year old women, victims of the devastating Nepal earthquake of April 25, were taken to Delhi by a Nepalese woman identified by Maiti Nepal India as Kalpana Pariyar. They were promised a ‘good life’ away from the devastation wrecked by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake but Ms Pariyar sold them instead to a trafficking agent called Anwar, for INR 100,000 each. The agent on-sold the duo to the Saudi Arabian diplomat who made their life a truly living hell for three long months.

Amnesty’s campaign involves a letter to Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi wherein the victims urge him, “We have faced so many problems, and we have struggled a lot, and we need justice. A lot has happened to both of us. Only God knows how we have suffered.”

The high profile case saw the accused, first secretary at Saudi embassy identified as Majed Hassan Ashoor, flee Indian soil around the third week of September. There is a rising demand from human rights organisations to have the accused brought back to India so that justice can be served to the Nepalese victim due aged 31 and 50.

Acting on a tip off from Maiti Nepal India, Haryana Police rescued them from Mr Ashoor’s apartment on September 9. Indian authorities were told the victims were “forcibly confined, starved and repeatedly raped by the diplomat”.

The tale of the atrocities meted out to them is unthinkable in today’s world. Not only did the employer rape them as and when he fancied sexual gratification, but he offered the two helpless women to his guests every time they visited the high-end residential address at Gurgaon. His family appeared to be complicit in these beastly activities, reports dating back to September suggest. The women would be ordered to shower whenever guests arrived and then they would be offered to the visitors as part of the Ashoor family’s hospitality.

Amnesty International India says the perpetrator of such atrocities cannot be let go just because the Vienna Convention guarantees them the luxury of diplomatic immunity. It wants him back on Indian soil to face the law.

“Diplomatic immunity must not lead to impunity for human rights abuses,” said Gopika Bashi, Women’s Rights Campaigner at Amnesty International India.

A press statement issued on 19 November further quoted Ms Bashi, “Authorities in India must promptly investigate the allegations, charge those suspected and seek their extradition from Saudi Arabia for prosecution, if required. The Saudi Arabian government, on its part, must not use the shield of diplomatic immunity to protect anyone, and must extradite suspects to India, if the need arises.”

“We felt we were dead then, and we will remain that way until justice is delivered. Our prayers and thoughts are that the men who did this to us should be caught and put in jail”, the women told Amnesty International India.

Recent reports suggests the victims are unable to return to their village because they are afraid of being stigmatised. Rape cases are often followed by an acute process of stigmatisation in the South Asian region as people begin passing judgement on the victims, often blaming them for inciting the sexual violence on them. In many cases, men are on record to have said that the rape cases are caused due to the dress the victims are on at the time of the crime.

Anyone wishing to lend a hand to Amnesty International India can do so by visiting following link.


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