The legal and societal status of sex workers in Nepal is very poor. A police raid on X Bar in Kathmandu resulted in the detainment of 27 female workers under the charge of public indecency; their employers and clients were not charged. The raid was conducted without a warrant and the police mistreated the women under the pretext of investigation, while the media portrayed the women as criminals.
In response to these injustices, SASANE filed a habeas corpus writ to the Supreme Court. The case was heard in the Division Bench of the Supreme Court. Although the police officers in charge of the case attempted to alter the charge sheet, claiming that the women threw stones at them, the Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of the women.
Prior to the Supreme Court outcome, one of the police officers in charge of the case was interviewed by the media boasted that he would combat social evil by ensuring that every woman detained would account for her crimes. In a press conference after the verdict however, another officer said he would work to bring the owners and clients of the business to justice.
As a result of SASANE’s intervention and the outcome of this case, we have witnessed a huge alteration in the attitude of law enforcement agents in Kathmandu.