Breaking News

Hang the rapist!

That was a few days ago. A young man even went so far as to form a 'rapist group' on social media. Threats of rape, especially against women, are frequent on social media. At the same time, the news of death threats if the love proposal is rejected is heard enough.

There are many cases of murder after rape with the intention of destroying all evidence. Rape has become leprosy in our social fabric. Discrimination usually begins with the family. Society imitates exactly the same. Due to social discrimination, inequality, and segregation, the balance of power in the society is not maintained and as a result powerful people sexually exploit the helpless. 

We are in the midst of the fact that we are trying to hide even the most heinous crime like rape. From time to time, reports of sexual offenses in the village come out. Attempts are made to acquit the culprit on the basis of power, contacts, and relations. Everyone who takes the lead in combating sexual violence within society needs action.

Numerically, very few incidents are reported to the police. There are examples in the news that even the police have put pressure on them to agree in some cases. Due to the social mentality of seeing dignity inside the vagina, many victims are languishing in a state of injustice every night. Lack of trust in the judiciary is another major reason for not filing reports. Another reason is the fear that others will know when the case has not been heard for months. The reasons behind all this may be thru. There is also the guilt of wrong psychology that tarnishes dignity. No one should ignore the hidden differences in the Nepali social structure. Unemployment and poverty also need to be considered. The state needs to be sensitive. It is important for state officials to realize their responsibility to make citizens feel safe.  

At the same time, there are instances where the victim has got justice after the case related to sexual abuse reached the court. We have also seen the news of the employer sexually abusing his employee and giving birth to a child in the mainstream media. How safe is it for parents to send their children to school when they hear that a teacher has done something wrong to their own students? Due to genuine political patronage, the perpetrators are torturing not only the victims but also the society as a whole by holding public office. There are even examples of Bokre becoming a gentleman by introducing himself as a human rights activist. Such people should start the practice of boycotting every other activity from a social campaign. Any civilized society considers a person with such wrong and unethical conduct and behavior unfit to hold public office. 

Incidents of violence against women became public around the world during the Covid-19 epidemic. However, no one is allowed to commit a crime for any reason. Lately, there has been a huge increase in such incidents of violence in Nepal as well. Angira Pasi of Rupandehi, Samjhana Vik of Bajhang, and Sangita Mandal of Saptari died due to sexual violence. Moreover, the oppression of Dalits, marginalized, and minorities and the protection afforded by impunity in Nepal make it clear that such criminal incidents are increasing day by day. The struggle of the people for the last two years to establish justice by finding guilty in the case of Nirmala Pant, who was murdered after being raped, has come to naught. There is a situation where the judiciary is putting oil on its ears. However, from the streets to the parliament, the demand for hanging and impotence of rapists is increasing in Nepal. 

How many young engineers are seen in front of the Nepalgunj district administration in black clothes on the hot streets and with the slogan 'Hang the rapist' written on the black placards and around the Birgunj clock tower? The wave of demonstrations by the youth in Kathmandu's Maiti Ghar can be seen around Dang Martyr's Gate. Due to the irresponsible remarks of the responsible person in the office, the real young generation is protesting on the issue of rape on the basis of age. Similar posts and hashtags can be seen on social media. But, is the demand to hang the rapist only owned by the youth who are protesting in the streets now? Calculating the political gain, it can be felt that some honorable people are giving expression to this issue for public consumption.

The rapist may have been demanded to be hanged, imagining people to be scared to death. This should have been raised in anticipation of a reduction in the number of heinous crimes when the rapist was hanged. Rape is associated with feudal patriarchal and patriarchal thinking and behavior. The argument that hanging does not stop Karni is not based on facts. The level of consciousness may prevent it. What effect would hanging a perpetrator have on his family and friends? The threat of escalating violence in society must also be stopped. Looking at the practice around the world, it seems that the economically and socially backward communities that do not have access to legal services have been hit hard. What would happen if an innocent person had to lose his life by escaping when the death penalty system was introduced?

Numerically, by 2019, 106 countries have completely abolished the death penalty for all crimes. About 55 countries still maintain the death penalty, while six countries do not have the death penalty for common crimes and about 30 countries do not have the death penalty in practice. 

In the case of Nepal, the death penalty was practiced before the 2007 change. From then on, the practice of pardoning ordinary crimes began, but the practice of capital punishment did not stop. After the political and constitutional changes of 2046 BS and 2047 BS, Nepal has completely abolished the provision of the death penalty. However, in Nepal, the voice to go back to reverse gear is being heard now.

China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Egypt are currently at the top of the list. In South Asia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Maldives still have this system. Is crime declining in a country with the death penalty? Certainly not.

It is a human rights believe that the death penalty should not be used for any crime. However, even in today's advanced and modern social environment, even countries that claim to be the origin of human rights and the rule of law still maintain the death penalty. 

The death penalty violates human rights. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, issued in 1948, states that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person. Article 5 of the same declaration states that torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment shall not be used. It is clear from these two articles that inhumane acts like the death penalty should not be committed. 

Article 16 (1) (2), 20 (1), (2), 22 (1) of the Constitution of Nepal 2072, Article 6 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966, and the Second International Voluntary Protocol on Civil and Political Rights 1989. It is unfortunate in itself that there is a debate against the basic human rights of the citizens protected by the Constitution itself, contrary to the international treaties, agreements, and conventions on human rights signed by Nepal, including the Charter of the United Nations, and the principles of human rights and justice.

Nowhere is the fact that the death penalty reduced crime. On the contrary, if an innocent person dies by mistake, his precious life cannot be returned at any cost. In an environment like ours where justice is bought and sold on the basis of power and access, those in power are more likely to be prejudiced and deceive innocent people. Perhaps that is why human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, have been advocating for the death penalty in all circumstances and in crimes of any nature.

In the case of Nepal, the National Criminal Code and the Civil Code provide for life imprisonment for those who commit suicide. The law also stipulates punishment based on the circumstances of the act and the age of the woman. However, measuring crime according to the age of the victim is not a fair thing in itself. 

The main problem in Nepal now is the lack of law enforcement. This is when the government releases the perpetrator like an open bird. This is because the criminal who can exercise limited rights is confidently reducing the number of incidents. The state should listen to the cries of the victims and ensure that justice is done, but the practice of coming to the streets demanding the abolition of the death penalty, whether one understands it or not, must end. Hanging a rapist does not reduce crime. If everyone can get rid of the violent thinking hidden in the social structure subconscious psychology, all kinds of criminal incidents including rape will be reduced.

No comments