NHRC calls for safety for beaten same-sex couple in Kailali

NHRC calls for safety for beaten same-sex couple in Kailali

Kailali : The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has concluded that the same-sex minor couple of Mohanyal Rural Municipality of Kailali were thrashed due to lack of awareness.

A team led by Hari Gyawali, head of the Commission’s Dhangadhi Office, reached this conclusion after carrying out an investigation of the incident on the ground. The Commission has asked the concerned authorities not to cause any hindrance in the safety of the couple, and in a study of the incident. Reshma Sunar, 17, and Sita Sunar, 16, of Mohanyal Rural Municipality were beaten for getting married in a recent incident. Reshma, who was assigned female at birth, identifies as a male, while Sita is a lesbian. Their real names have not been disclosed for security reasons.

Following discussions with the NHRC team, the couple’s family and relatives agreed to prioritise their safety and education, he said.

Underage same-sex couple face mistreatment, seek acceptance

In the discussion with the commission team, the family members presented themselves positively and agreed to provide security to the minor couple by sheltering them in their home. “It was agreed upon that the couple will live with their families. Now they are minors. It is up to them who they want to marry and start a family when they reach their legal age. It was agreed upon that they will now live with their families and continue their studies,” he said.

A lack of awareness and family concern for their child has also played a role inciting the incident, he said. “Now there is a consensus that they will live in their own homes and they will not be forced into marriage. It was also agreed upon that the schools they are enrolled in will make a favourable environment for them.”

Magartol Solta of Mohanyal Rural Municipality-6 is found to be struggling without a lack of educational awareness, he said. “There is no environment in which family members and society members can easily accept the third gender people. However, they agreed to provide education to the couple.”

Meanwhile, the sexual and gender minorities have demanded the immediate rescue and safety of the couple.

Sunil Babu Pant, Asia’s first openly gay former parliamentarian of Nepal, and the executive director of Mayako Pahichan Nepal, a social organisation advocating for the rights and identity of the sexual and gender minorities, filed a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission and the Nepal Police seeking immediate security to the minor couple.

Tikaram Pokharel, Spokesperson for the National Human Rights Commission, said he came to know about the incident through media.

“We knew through media that they (sexual and gender minority communities) have filed a complaint with the Commission, and the Commission’s Dhangadhi Office monitored the incident site today itself.”

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