Nepalese protest violence against women

Activists continue sit-in for 10th day near the prime minister's residence after alleged rape of maid by policeman.

    The protesters included rights workers, housewives and journalists [AFP]
    The protesters included rights workers, housewives and journalists [AFP]

    Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside the prime minister's residence in Nepal for a 10th day to protest against the alleged rape and robbery of a maid by officials and other violence against women.

    The protesters chanted slogans on Sunday demanding the government punish those involved in crimes against women and that authorities do more to protect women in the Himalayan nation.

    Activists have called the campaign "Occupy Baluwatar" in reference to the upscale Kathmandu neighbourhood where Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai's residence is located.

    Sita Rai, an assumed name used by the 21-year-old maid to protect her identity, says she was robbed at Kathmandu's international airport by officials and then subsequently raped by a policeman, as she returned to the capital from Saudi Arabia.

    Police have since made several arrests in Rai's case and Bhattarai has spoken of his "shame" over the government's response to her complaint.
     
    The "Occupy Baluwatar" activists, including rights workers, housewives and journalists, staged a street drama depicting scenes of abuse and were holding up photographs of victims of rape, murders and kidnappings, accusing the government of failing to act in each case.

    A thick line of riot police kept them away from prime minister's residence.

    Mass protests in neighbouring India over the gang-rape last month of a 23-year-old student who subsequently died have shone a light on an alleged culture of impunity over sex attacks in Nepal.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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