I am Dev Bhattarai, asylum seeker in Sweden now. I am Nepali and I am gay. Nepal is a Hindu religious country, more than 80 percent of the people are following the Hindu religion. And they are very devoted with the religious thing. I mean to say that according to Hindu religion and the followers, gay or third gender people are as the incarnation of the devil. It is believed that if a small child looks at us, they will also be gay when they grow up.
Growing up, I discovered that I was not interested in girls, but in boys. I think this is not my fault. But I was very sad because I could not openly show any one that I am gay and I did not dare to tell this to even my family members. I was afraid of how people treat gay people. If I say I am gay, my life was in danger, I could not walk on the street and show my face in front of the society and my neighbors.
So, I hid my homosexuality from my family and everyone. While I completed my secondary level I came to Kathmandu which is the capital city of Nepal. I thought I could live openly as a gay person there and I met my partner, Keshab. But it wasn´t easy in Kathmandu either, it became hard to go to college, when people knew we were gay. We were treated in a inhuman way by the other students and called “chhakka”, a degrading and hateful word for gay people. Sometime they used to hit us with stones to mock us. We tried to protest to the campus administration, but they didn´t do anything. Because of that we could not study well. Then my family found out that I was gay, and stopped sending money and food items. So, I got a job painting a house to support us. One day while I was painting the roof of a newly constructed house, one of the senior workers ridiculed me and said “chhakka” and when I protested he became violent and tried to push me from the roof. The employer didn’t support me. All this happened because I’m openly gay.
Then we didn´t have any money or food, and the owner of the apartment threw us out as well, because we are gay. We returned back to our home. But my parents were very angry with me for being gay. My father did not want to see my face. One day he tried to kill me with a knife. From that day I could not enter my house and my life was very risky, my father could kill me any day. My father was a priest and all the villagers used to say that he couldn´t work as priest because he has a son who is gay.
My neighbors treated me as I if I am not a human being, like I am the devil. They used to say that a “chhakka” face is a bad omen. Nobody listened to me. If I walked on the street, people used to throw stones at me, the police looked but did not do anything. They did not try to protect me. I was hated by all and I even tried to kill myself.
My partner Name Keshab, is also from the country side. He had also faced inhuman behavior from his relatives and from his neighbours. One day, his relatives tried to kill him, by planting some explosives where he was going to go. But fortunately, one of the innocent children told him about the planning and he was saved.
We could not get any help from anywhere in our country and no one tried to protect our human rights. The government and the police is doing nothing. So, we came to Sweden to seek asylum.
According to the latest news from Nepal, from Human Rights Watch, Nepalese LGBT people are at high risk in their country. There is only one organization who is supporting LGBT people in Nepal, and the government of Nepal decided not renew its license and to close it. The people working there have been threatened and some have been kidnapped.
We thought all these facts were known by Migrationsverket, so we were surprised when Migrationsverket gave us a negative decision. Now, we live our life in fear, we can’t return to our home country. Our family and relatives can’t accept us. Our society can’t accept us. We don’t have any option, and we clearly say that we can’t live in Nepal like human beings. And we don’t want to live there being seen as devils.
We are condemned from our family, from our society and from our country. So, if Migrationsverket wants to sends us back to our country, our life is full of risk. We don’t want to be victims of hatred from people in Nepal. Rather we want to die here. We have already suffered torture from all of our family, from neighbours and from other people in Nepal. Now we can’t tolerate any more torture in the future. Rather we want to kill ourselves here if the migration court also decides same as Migrationsverket and decide to send us back to Nepal. We will try to report all these things to international media, and to international human rights organization, because we know that if we go to Nepal, our life is full of risk. People will try to kill us or torture us. Even now, when we think about things that have happened, sometimes our minds do not work, we become like mad. We cannot walk openly in the public there. The people treat us like we are devils. Then, how we can survive in such place? Where is our human rights?
Now our ambition is to study here in Sweden and to help the oppressed LGBT people like us. We have refused any social benefit from Migrationsverket, we are working here ourselves and we are maintaining our day to day life. We are working and paying tax to the Swedish Government. We commit to do so in future also, we don’t want to be a burden to Sweden, we will work ourselves and we can manage our day to day life ourselves. So, we would humbly like to request to migration court to review the decision of Migrationsverket and to give us permission to stay in Sweden.
Here are some links about the situation in Nepal:
NEPAL LGBT PEOPLE ARE UNDER ATTACK – http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=68437
LGBT PEOPLE ARE UNSECURED IN NEPAL BY HUMAN RIGHTS (WATCH) – http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/04/01/nepal-climate-fear-imperils-lgbt-people
LGBT TENSION RISE IN NEPAL _
LGBT RIGHTS IS BACKSLIDING IN NEPAL –
Human rights violations among sexual and gender minorities in Kathmandu, Nepal: a qualitative investigation http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-698X/12/7
Masked attackers harass gay activities in Nepal
Death Threats to the organization’s chairperson who is working for LGBT in Nepal