Current Affairs

‘Lesbian’ soldiers dismissed from Nepalese army

Tony Grew August 7, 2007
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Two female personnel have been kicked out of the army of Nepal on suspicion of being lesbians.

The Kathmandu Post reports that the pair were court-martialled after being found in bed with eachother.

They said that nothing sexual had occurred, but that charges of lesbianism were brought against them by their superiors.

Nepalese army spokesman Brigadier-General Ramindra Chhetri told the Post the women were dismissed because they “lacked discipline” and refused to comment on the lesbian allegations.

The position of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Nepal has worsened in recent months.

LGBT people had joined Maoist rebels and others to protest in a democracy movement against the king last year, demanding a freely elected, secular government.

When King Gyanendra finally relinquished sovereign power to the civilian government, it was hoped that gay and lesbian Nepalese would be granted human rights and legal protection.

The Maoist insurgents, who fought a ten-year guerrilla war against monarchist forces at a cost of over 12,000 lives, finally signed a peace agreement with the new democratic government in November last year.

No longer regarded as terrorists, the Maoists have turned their attention to ridding the country of “social pollutants,” such as pornography, infidelity, drunkenness and homosexuality, which they claim are products of capitalism.

In the most recent known example of discriminatory attacks, Maoist soldiers detained a woman and a teenage girl accused of having a sexual relationship and tried to force them to become Maoist soldiers.

This is a critical time in the fight for LGBT rights in Nepal.

Elections are due to be held in November, when a new constitution will be voted on. Gay rights activists are demanding they be protected.

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