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39 homosexual imprisoned in Nepal: France has to demand their release

publié en ligne : 16 August 2004

Since Monday August 9th, 39 homosexual have been imprisoned in Nepal. They’re all members of Blue Diamond Society, a Nepalese non-governmental organization, member of International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), which fights against AIDS and for the defence of human rights.

They are still held, under very difficult conditions, at the police station of Hanuman Dhoka. Several of them are charged with public nuisance. Their detention could last up to 25 days. Other activists from the orgnisation manage, with great difficulties, to bring them food aid.

These arrests occurred after a Nepalese lawyer asked the Nepalese Supreme Court, on June 18th, to close Blue Diamond Society, accusing the organisation to want «to legalize the homosexual activities». In response to this letter, the Nepalese Supreme Court asked for the Ministry of Interior to explain, before July 27th, why «public homosexual activities» should not be punished in Nepal.

We bring today our entire support to Blue Diamond Society, whose fight for human rights and work of prevention against HIV/Aids is outstanding and unique in Nepal. This organisation carries out the only Nepalese programme of AIDS prevention and care targeting in men who have sew with men and offers free medical help to the people living with HIV/Aids and their relatives.

We think that it is today more than essential to guarantee the survival and the development of organisations which conduct effective actions against HIV/Aids. Blue Diamond Society is one of the major Aids service organisations in Nepal. The closure of this organisation would mean the collapse of its actions and could only cause serious damage to the people living with HIV.

In Nepal as elsewhere, the police repression of homosexual practices results in driving further underground men who have sex with men, and in turning them away from prevention and educational messages on HIV/Aids. The number of homophobic aggressions is rising in Nepal. Nepalese gays should be protected by the police rather than harassed... Those arrests are ominous: being homosexual is no good in Nepal these days.

We demand the Nepalese government to release immediately the 39 persons still in custody.

We ask the French government:
- to condemn the arrest and the imprisonment of the 39 members of Blue Diamond Society;
- to urge the Nepalese government to release these people at once;
- to urge the Nepalese government to end police pressure on this organisation.

- ILGA web site: http://www.ilga.org
- ILGA’s call to action: http://www.ilga.org/news_results.as...
- Blue Diamond Society web site: http://www.bds.org.np/

[English translation of the French original text. In the event of any difference between the English translation and the French original, the French text shall prevail.]

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