Call to make disappeared’s status public

Kathmandu, August 29:

Human rights activists and families of the disappeared people have demanded that the status of their missing relatives be made public.

Tika Kandel said no one has bothered to make public the whereabouts of his disappeared son. Kandel, who hails from Dhading district, said the state was behind his son’s disappearance. “My son was disappeared six years ago. Since then, we have been living in miseries galore,” he said. The armed conflict ended two years ago, but no one has bothered to make public the whereabouts of my son, he said, urging the government to make public the status of the disappeared. Speaking at a gathering of families of the disappeared, he said, “Leaders came to power as a result of sacrifice made by the disappeared people. Thanks to the culture of impunity, those behind forced disappearances are still roaming freely.”

OHCHR-Nepal representative Richard Bennett said disappearances continued to haunt Nepal’s transition to peace and democracy and it was imperative to hold accountable those responsible for the disappearances.

He said, “We should recall on this day that affected families predominately comprised of women and children have been prevented from moving ahead with their lives emotionally and practically.”

“The cases of forced disappearance have caused suffering to thousands of people,” he said, calling on authorities concerned to develop a mechanism to put an end to disappearances.

CPN-UML leader Pradip Gyawali said wounds of relatives of the disappeared had not healed due to weak implementation of peace pacts.

He called on the government to make the status of the disappeared public.

INSEC chief Subodh Pyakurel said it was due to the lack of commitment and honesty on the part of political parties that conflict victims were not getting timely justice.

Meanwhile, Advocacy Forum Nepal issued a press statement, calling on the government to form a commission on disappearances and nurse festered wounds of families of the disappeared.”Two years ago, the Supreme Court had directed the government to form the commission, but the commission has not taken shape yet.”