Two months after two Nepalese women were rescued from a luxury apartment in Gurgaon, under allegations that they were raped and beaten by a Saudi diplomat and his friends, they still wait for justice. The two women have now returned to Nepal, but are reportedly forced to live under public scrutiny and shame.
"In my heart, I don't have expectation that I will go back to my family," one of the women told human rights organisation Amnesty International in an interview. "In the village there is lots of gossip."
"While we are walking on the road, people will talk about us."
While the women have been staying in a shelter home in Kathmandu and receiving psychological counselling, they say that the situation was temporary, and they were afraid of their future.
“For me, the sooner I get justice the better. Three countries are involved in this. We have faced so many problems and we struggled a lot, and we need justice," said one of the women to Amnesty. "Arrest whoever is involved…It is like a nightmare for us. The only thing I want is justice and for them to be put in jail.”
The police had registered a criminal case against six unnamed persons following the incident, but the diplomat in question was allowed to return to his home country as per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, to which India and Saudi Arabia are state parties. It grants diplomats immunity from criminal prosecution by a receiving state.
“Diplomatic immunity must not lead to impunity for human rights abuses,” said Gopika Bashi, Women’s Rights Campaigner at Amnesty International India. “Authorities in India must promptly investigate the allegations, charge those suspected and seek their extradition from Saudi Arabia for prosecution, if required. The Saudi Arabian government, on its part, must not use the shield of diplomatic immunity to protect anyone, and must extradite suspects to India, if the need arises.”
An online petition started by the organisation addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demands that justice is delivered to these women.
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