Voices of Torture Survivors in Nepal
The dissertation attempts to tap into the experiences of torture survivors of Nepal. The objective of the research is to shed light on: who were tortured, how and why; what are the consequences of torture on them, and what are their coping strategies and expectations for reconciliation. To meet these objectives, the study relied upon the interviews of ten Nepalese torture survivors; and six related experts on torture. The conceptual framework has been prepared by using the ideas of discourse, discourse analysis, perception, human capability and human agency. Study findings indicate that most of the torture survivors are male head of the family, poor, lowly educated and unaffiliated to any political parties. Majority of them are victims of state forces and they belong to either the indigenous or the so called low caste groups in Nepal. The findings also suggest that the victims were not only tortured physically, psychologically, and sexually; but also tortured socially, economically, religiously and culturally. Reasons for torture did not only include punishment, confession, fallible perception, gaining information, suppression, revenge, and belonging to another side of the political divide. They were also tortured for the reasons of silencing, spying, biology and economy, too. Consequences of torture were not only psychological, physical, and social; but also economical, sexual and cultural, too. Findings indicate numerous coping strategies of torture survivors. Major coping strategies are problem solving; seeking support and emotional ventilation; use of alcohol, drug and smoking; use of religion and superstition; and downward social comparison. Other such strategies are wishful thinking, catastrophizing and avoidance, cognitive restructuring and acceptance. Findings also indicate that uneducated and poor torture survivors are unaware of the discourse of reconciliation and truth commission. However, they expect reparation, development of the state and full-fledged democracy. They expect a place, where people are safe, war is not the need and people are not tortured for any reason.
ForlagUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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