Nepal: Government Proposes Bill to Criminalise Witchcraft Accusations

The proposed bill against witchcraft accusations would provide legal recourse for women who have experienced physical or mental harm as a consequence of witchcraft accusations and related cultural and superstitious practices by proposing jail terms of up to seven years and fines up to Nepali Rupees 70,000 (US$780). If a death occurs because of such an offence, then homicide-related laws stipulated in Nepal’s existing criminal code would be invoked. The bill also contains provisions that ensure interim relief and protection measures to the victims while legal proceedings take their course. The bill has a clear focus on victim protection mechanisms and guarantees state protection for the victim. Other features of the bill include third-party complaint mechanisms and an ordinance for ranking police officers to investigate complaints. Click here for more details.

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