Nepalese protest rape, assault

Jan. 8, 2013 at 7:38 AM
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KATHMANDU, Nepal, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Nepalese protesters, expressing a fury similar to that seen in India related to a deadly gang rape, demanded the government act on violence against women.

Demonstrators across Nepal have protested in front of official buildings, including the prime minister's residence, demanding improved protection for woman and decrying what they say is a slow response to issues such as rape and abuse, CNN reported Tuesday.

In India, demonstrations after the gang-rape in New Delhi and eventual death of a 23-year-old woman have prompted some changes, such as increasing the number of women working in New Delhi police stations and official vows to strengthen rape and assault laws.

"The media attention to protests in Delhi has raised awareness on issues of violence against women in Nepal," said Manju Gurun of Pourakhi, an organization that advocates for female migrant workers.

Nepalese officials are facing an outcry over several cases of alleged rape and abuse against women, including an allegation of rape by a police officer on a migrant worker called Sita Rai, CNN said.

The lawyer representing the woman said she was held at a detention center when immigration officials at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu said she was traveling on a fake passport. The lawyer said three officers took her savings of about $2,300.

An airport police officer took her to a motel where he robbed and repeatedly raped her, the lawyer said. The woman returned to her home in eastern Nepal, and was persuaded to file a complaint in mid-December.

The airport police officer was tried on charges of rape and cheating and is awaiting a verdict, a Nepalese police spokesman said. The suspect maintains the sex was consensual, CNN said.

The three immigration officers accused of robbing the woman were suspended and are being investigated, authorities said.

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