Bennett calls all to uphold rule of law

Kathmandu, May 1:

Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal Richard Bennett called today the administration and the Constituent Assembly to uphold the rule of law and human rights situation in the country.

He said the peace process in Nepal had taken a major step forward with the successful holding of the election.

“Among the responsibilities facing the new administration and Constituent Assembly is the strengthening of respect for human rights, including creation of an environment in which the people have confidence that their institutions have the capacity and the will to uphold the rule of law and holding accountable those responsible for rights violations, whether they were committed in the past or in the present,” Bennett said.

Bennett was speaking at a programme where Cine Maker Private Limited announced to make a film titled “Maina” based on the story of disappearance and killing of Maina Sunuwar. Army personnel had raped and killed the 15-year old girl four years back in Kabhreplanchwok district.

Bennett also called authorities to establish a commission of inquiry on disappearances and to enact legislation making enforced disappearance a crime.

“OHCHR-Nepal has consistently supported the Supreme Court directives, and continues to urge the government to ensure that the commission of inquiry and the draft law meet international standards,” he said. “I would also like to again encourage policy makers to make public all draft legislations so that concerned national and international interlocutors can submit their comments,” he added.

Gauri Pradhan, member of the National Human Rights Commission, called to punish criminals and not to cover up crimes occurred in the past even as the Maoists come to the power. Citing examples of such trends in the past even after the success of movements, Pradhan called all not to repeat the practice again. “Covering up of crimes would only encourage the culture of impunity,” he said. He said nearly 1,000 persons remain still disappeared — 700 by the state and the rest by the Maoists — even after the Maoists joined the mainstream.

Chairman of Informal Sector Service Centre Subodh Raj Pyakurel called all to bring the culprits to the book.

Human rights activists Charan Prasain and Mandira Sharma and Devi, the mother of Maina Sunuwar, called authorities to punish the culprits and restore rule of law in the country.