Nepalese protesters stage anti-rape street drama

Nepalese activists perform a street drama during a protest near the Prime Minister's residence in Kathmandu on January 6, 2013, during a protest demanding justice in rising cases of violence against women.

KATHMANDU - Hundreds of Nepalese campaigners protested for a 10th day Sunday over the alleged rape and robbery of a maid by government officials and other cases of violence against women.

Demonstrators who began picketing the residence of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai in the upscale Baluwatar area of Kathmandu on December 28, demanding punishment of the accused, staged a street drama depicting scenes of abuse.

Sita Rai, an assumed name used by the 21-year-old to protect her identity, says she was robbed at Kathmandu's international airport by officials and then subsequently raped by a policeman, as she returned to the capital from Saudi Arabia.

More than 500 "Occupy Baluwatar" activists, including rights workers, housewives and journalists, have been holding up photographs of victims of rape, murders and kidnappings, accusing the government of failing to act in each case.

Police have since made several arrests in Rai's case and Bhattarai has spoken of his "shame" over the government's response to her complaint.

Mass protests in India over the gang-rape last month of a 23-year-old student who subsequently died have shone a light on an alleged culture of impunity over sex attacks in its Himalayan neighbour.

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