HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Amnesty International in its annual report has criticised Nepal for being reluctant to bring perpetrators of rights abuse to justice and failing to rein in on widespread torturing of civilians in police custody.
Although the Comprehensive Peace Agreement said a Truth and Reconciliation Commission would be formed to probe into alleged human rights violation and crimes against humanity during the conflict, the drafting of a bill has yet to be completed, said the rights body in its 2012 report.
The dossier, providing a comprehensive overview of the state of human rights in 155 countries and territories, said the government was yet to set up a commission to investigate thousands of enforced disappearance by parties to the conflict between 1996 and 2006, despite promise to do so by September.
The report said political parties in the government are actively challenging justice by demanding the withdrawal of criminal charges in hundreds of cases, including those involving serious rights violations. “The government continued to make interim payments to families of ‘conflict victims’ but failed to fulfil victims’ rights to truth and justice.”
The document said torture and ill-treatment in police custody remained widespread in the country. In June, Nepal-based Centre for Victims reported that since the end of the armed conflict in 2006, the majority of incidents of torture were perpetrated by police. Of the 989 prisoners interviewed, 74 per cent reported being tortured in custody.
“Exploitation of Nepali migrant workers abroad, including forced labour, continues. Poverty and high unemployment prompted at least 300,000 documented workers to go abroad. Some labour recruiters trafficked migrants deceiving them about pay, working conditions and substituting contracts,” said Rameshwor Nepal, director of AI Nepal.
Authors of the report said discrimination persisted on the basis of ethnicity, religion, gender, economic situation and disability. Despite promulgation of the Caste based Discrimination and Untouchability (Offence and Punishment) Act, Dalits continued to face social and economic exclusion.
AI further said police increasingly suppressed Tibetan refugees’ right to freedom of association and expression in the year 2011.
The report said 500,000 people die every year worldwide as a result of armed violence and millions more are injured, brutally repressed, raped or forced to flee from their homes because of armed conflict, armed violence and human rights violation using conventional arms.
At least 60 per cent of human rights violations documented by Amnesty involve small arms and light weapons. Only 35 countries published national reports of transfers of conventional arms, it said.