KATHMANDU, MARCH 8
The National Human Rights Commission has said that a recent joint press release issued by at least three international bodies interferes in the internal affairs of a sovereign country.
A press release issued yesterday by the NHRC states, "The press release not only interferes in the internal affairs of a sovereign friendly country, which places high priority on human rights and rule of law, but it is also questions the sanctity and credibility of the national human rights institution of Nepal, which is a party to most of the fundamental international human rights treaties."
It also accused the international bodies for undermining Nepal's judiciary and the highest constitutional body responsible for recommending nominations for national constitutional bodies, including the NHRC.
Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists, and Amnesty International on March 1, issuing a press release had sought immediate withdrawal of a December 15 ordinance on the law governing the constitutional council. The very day three members of the council had made 38 nominations to vacant positions in constitutional bodies.
The global bodies, decrying lack of transparency and calling the appointments 'illegitimate', had asked the government to rescind it as 'they were made without consultation or parliamentary approval.
The press release had stated, "Such appointments could lead to ineffective and weak implementation of critical mandates to protect human rights and other rule of law objectives."
The NHRC, in line with this, has said that although it appreciates the international community for their continued support extended to the human rights cause of Nepal, it is all determined to ''protect, defend, promote and enhance human rights' in Nepal in the days to come on the basis of rule of law, human rights principles and international standards.' The watchdog, in a press release said, "It is very unfortunate that well known international human rights organisations like ICJ, HRW and AI have hurriedly issued a premature press release asking the Government of Nepal to 'withdraw an ordinance and rescind appointments' undermining Nepal's judiciary and the highest constitutional body responsible for recommending nominations for the national constitutional bodies, including NHRC, knowing that there are two sub-judice cases pending in the Supreme Court, which has not issued stay-order against the respondents."
The NHRC has also drawn the attention of the bodies for 'questioning the sanctity and credibility of the national human rights institution of Nepal, which is a party to most of the fundamental international human rights treaties'. The press release reads, "It is very surprising to note that the press release tacitly urges the international community in an indirect way not to cooperate with the NHRC, which has been working hard to serve the people of Nepal in the human rights field in coordination with civil society and international human rights community, including the UN system."
A version of this article appears in the print on March 09, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.