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Arrest of a U.S. Citizen
December 21, 2022

The Department of State is committed to ensuring fair and humane treatment for U.S. citizens imprisoned overseas. We stand ready to assist incarcerated citizens and their families within the limits of our authority in accordance with international, domestic, and foreign law.

Anyone who breaks the law in Nepal is subject to prosecution under the local legal system. If a person is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment by a Nepali court, this sentence will be served in a Nepali prison. A U.S. passport does not entitle its bearer to any special privileges. One should not expect to receive preferential treatment or the same array of legal rights accorded under the U.S. judicial system.

Avoid getting arrested overseas by:

  • Following the laws and regulations of Nepal.
  • Learn about laws in Nepal which might be different from the laws in the United States. We provide relevant information on Nepal’s Country Specific page.

If you are arrested overseas or know a U.S. citizen who is:

  • Ask the prison authorities to notify the Embassy.
  • You may also directly reach out to the Embassy to let us know of an arrest. You may contact the American Citizen Services unit of the Embassy directly by calling +977-1-423-4000 during normal business hours. After normal business hours, we recommend U.S. Embassy Consular Information & Service MS Form:. The American Citizen Service unit will open a case the following business day and contact you as soon as possible.

Consular Assistance to U.S. Prisoners:

When a U.S. citizen is arrested overseas, he or she may be initially confused and disoriented. It can be more difficult because the prisoner is in unfamiliar surroundings, and may not know the local language, customs, or legal system.

 We can help:

  • Provide a list of local attorneys who speak English.
  • Contact family, friends, or employers of the detained U.S. citizen with their written permission.
  • Visit the incarcerated U.S. citizen regularly and provide reading materials and vitamin supplements, where appropriate.
  • Help ensure that prison officials are providing appropriate medical care.
  • Provide a general overview of the local criminal justice process.
  • When requested, ensure visits with a member of the clergy of the religion of the detainee’s choice.
  • Establish an Overseas Citizen Services (OCS) Trust so friends and family can transfer funds to the imprisoned U.S. citizens for dietary, medical, or other needs.

We cannot:

  • Get U.S. citizens out of jail overseas.
  • Testify to a court that anyone is guilty or innocent.
  • Provide legal advice or represent U.S. citizens in court overseas.
  • Serve as official interpreters or translators.
  • Pay legal, medical, or other fees for U.S. citizens overseas.
  • Share information about detainees without their permission.