ICJ urges govt to establish credible process

Kathmandu, August 29

On the occasion of International Day of the Disappeared (August 30), the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) today called on the Government of Nepal to establish a credible truth-seeking process that provides justice and reparations to victims and ensures criminal responsibility to perpetrators of enforced disappearances during the decade-long armed conflict.

“Victims of enforced disappearances, which include the families of the disappeared, have the inalienable rights to truth, reparation and justice for their suffering of this heinous crime under international law, and the Government of Nepal has an obligation to ensure these rights,” said Nikhil Narayan, head of the Nepal Office of the ICJ in press release issued today.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in November 2006, provides for the situation of the disappeared to be made public within 60 days.

In addition, a Supreme Court decision on June 1, 2007 ordered the government to enact a new law to criminalise enforced disappearances and to establish an independent high-level Commission of Inquiry on Disappearances, in line with the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED).

The Supreme Court further called on the government to enact laws to criminalise gross human rights violations, as currently there is no distinct crime of enforced disappearance, torture, crimes against humanity or war crimes under Nepali domestic law.

On April 25, 2014, the Commission on Investigation of Disappeared Persons, Truth and Reconciliation Act 2014 was promulgated with a wide range of amnesty powers, and under which the chairperson and members of the both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission to Investigate Disappearances were appointed on February 10, 2015.