ICJ concerned about continuing impunity in Nepal

Kathmandu, March 8

The International Commission of Jurists submitted a written statement on human rights situation in Nepal to the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, highlighting ‘the continuing problems of impunity in Nepal.’ The UNHRC’s 37th session is taking place from February 26 to March 23.

According to a press release issued by the ICJ, it has called upon the government of Nepal to comply with its international law obligations.

According to the release, the ICJ delivered an oral statement to the UN Human Rights Council on transitional justice, prevention and impunity, highlighting the continuing problem of impunity in Nepal. The statement was made during the clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence and the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Prevention of Genocide.

In the oral statement, the ICJ expressed its deep concern about continuing impunity for gross human rights violation, which undermines the potential for transitional justice. It has highlighted that more than 10 years after the civil war in Nepal there has been almost absolute impunity for serious human rights violation.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons have fallen short of meeting international standards and are facing distrust of major stakeholders, including the conflict victims.

Similarly, the statement has also highlighted the government’s failure to fulfil its obligation to enact domestic legislation to criminalise serious crimes in compliance with international law. The ICJ highlighted that continuing impunity for gross human rights violations perpetrated during the conflict is one of the major obstacles to the creation of stable and legitimate democratic government and lies at the heart of the rule of law crisis in the country.

The Government of Nepal exercised the right to reply in the Council’s session.

Antara Singh, Nepali official at the Permanent Mission/Embassy of Nepal in Geneva refuted the claims of the ICJ. “Nepal upholds the rule of law and it does not condone impunity,” she added.

Singh also said that administration of transitional justice was a long and time-consuming process and it called for due process of law. She also said that the term of two transitional mechanisms — Truth Reconciliation Commission and Commission of Investigation on the Enforced Disappeared persons — had recently been extended and they were working.