'CIEDP categorises missing persons as dead without investigating'

KATHMANDU: Conflict Victims Common Platform (CVCP) said that its attention has been drawn towards Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) forwarding complaints regarding the missing persons to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Nepal (TRC) without carrying out investigations.

Issuing a press release in the Capital on Sunday, CVCP has made public this information. CIEDP has sent around 400 such files to TRC.

On the basis of the claims made by various authorities and organisations, CIEDP has pronounced the missing as dead without investigating properly. This information has been corresponded to the family members of the missing persons, read the statement.

In the letters dispatched to the families by CIEDP, it is mentioned that according to the Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act 2071, cases of murder did not fall under the jurisdiction of the commission and therefore were sent to TRC, and the same had been informed to the families of the missing as per the regulations, according to Suman Adhikari, President of CVCP.

CIEDP has cited the missing as dead on the basis of the details provided by the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction in the list of the dead, along with the list by Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC).

Due to the letters sent to the families by the commission, many family members became unconscious and this has created difficult situations, according to the information from the districts.

In the past, the families of persons who had died in the conflict were provided with compensation, whereas the families of missing persons would not receive any such compensation.

Due to harsh economic conditions, and due to many practical difficulties including issuance of the children’s citizenship and transference of properties among others, the families of the missing persons had no choice but to register their names under dead.

Family members of many victims, who have been registered as dead without proper investigations, have not even carried out their last rites. Such family members, with the hope to bring the truth out, filed their complaints with CIEDP about the missing persons.

CIEDP - which has been given the responsibility of investigating the missing persons during the conflict period - pronouncing the missing as dead only on the basis of documents of other authorities and institutions, is not only irresponsible, but also insensitive, stated the press release.

The commission also has the added responsibility of informing the family members of where, how, when, and why the murder happened if the missing family member is listed as dead.

“Even if the commission confirms the death of the missing through proper investigation, it is crucial to understand the effect the news might have on the family members. Before providing such sensitive information to the family members, psycho-social aspects must be taken into consideration before issuing any kind of correspondence,” states the press release.

Meanwhile, CVCP has requested the commission to carry out proper investigations into the cases of the missing persons.

“If after the investigations, the missing persons are actually found to have died or been killed, the commission must issue full disclosure on the details of such deaths,” said Adhikari, adding “and the commission is also requested to arrange for immediate psycho-social counselling to the families who have been in despair due to the abrupt correspondence from the commission regarding the death of their family members.”