Woman ‘assaulted’ by UNFPA top official awaits justice

New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) A former consultant at the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Bihar office on Thursday said she was struggling to get justice because a UN staff member who allegedly assaulted her enjoyed immunity that should be waived.

Prashanti Tiwari, 31, told reporters here that after having knocked at the doors of the National Commission for Women (NCW), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), and Bihar Police, she was still struggling to get the accused punished.

“The burden of proof that should be on the accused is on the victim in this case. My judicial and constitutional right to record a statement has been violated. The police say they are unable to interrogate the accused,” she said.

“The UN with their lofty ideas about women empowerment fail to protect women working for them. There is a need to break this culture of silence,” she said.

She alleged that the accused made her “highly uncomfortable” during his month-long visit to Patna in March 2017.

“One day, he forced himself to my chamber in my office.”

Tiwari said that her complaint with the police and with the NCW was at a standstill. She also wrote a letter to the MEA, which was forwarded to the UN for action but it was outrightly negated as being baseless.

“The UN body — OASIS (The Office of Audit and Investigation Services) — investigating my case, is about a mere fact finding process, not a criminal process,” she said.

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