Nepal | November 30, 2020

International rights watchdogs concerned about justice for victims

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, November 26

Nepal has made no substantial progress on questions of justice, truth, and reparations for victims of gross human rights violations and abuses during its 10-year conflict, the International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and TRIAL International said today. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end the war was signed on 21 November 2006.

While two commissions have been set up to address conflict-era atrocities, they have not been effective, and impunity and denial of access to justice to victims remain prevalent.

Issuing a joint press statement, the four rights organisations said they were particularly concerned about the recent moves that suggest the government would move ahead and appoint commissioners without making necessary legal reforms to framework.

“Last week marked the 13th anniversary of the CPA that ended the conflict in Nepal. It is astonishing that so little progress has been made in responding to the clearly articulated concerns and demands of conflict
victims,” said Frederick Rawski, ICJ’s Asia-Pacific director. “These demands include a transparent and consultative process for the appointment of commissioners, and genuine effort by political leaders and lawmakers to address serious weaknesses in the existing legal framework.”

On 18 November 2019, a five-member committee formed by the government to recommend names for commissioners to be appointed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission on the Investigation of Enforced Disappearances published a list of candidates.

Victims and civil society have raised concerns that the government will simply reappoint past commissioners or make political appointments and the process will not be adequately impartial and independent.

“It is deeply disappointing that the government had repeatedly attempted to appoint commissioners without adequate consultation and transparency. The commissions will not gain trust of the victims and the international community if the political parties continue to interfere in the appointment process,” said Biraj Patnaik, South Asia director at Amnesty International.

Importantly, the move suggests that the commissions will be re-constituted without amending the legal framework governing the transitional justice process and ensuring its compliance with Nepal’s international human rights law obligations, as directed by Nepal’s Supreme Court and demanded by civil society and the victims.

“The government’s move has not only undermined victims’ role in the transitional justice process, but has also once again brought into question its commitment to upholding its international law obligations and ensuring justice for conflict-era crimes,” said Tomás Ananía, TRIAL International’s Nepal programme manager.

All four organisations reiterated their call to amend the Transitional Justice Act to make it consistent with the SC’s rulings and international human rights standards, as well as for the initiation of a genuine consultative and transparent process for the appointment of commissioners.

“After initial pledges to ensure truth, justice, and reparations for conflict victims, it appears that the government is once again determined to protect those responsible for the crimes,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at HRW. “The international community should remind Nepal that whitewashing egregious crimes will not help to dodge universal jurisdiction.”


A version of this article appears in print on November 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Mahrez hat-trick as Man City thrash Burnley 5-0 yet again

MANCHESTER: Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick as Manchester City hammered Burnley 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday -- the fourth straight time Pep Guardiola's side have beaten the Clarets at home by that scoreline. City had netted just 10 goals in their open Read More...

Oli counters Dahal with 38-page salvo

Oli raises a host of issues and questions Dahal’s role in relation to them KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 28 Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today presented a 38-page long rebuttal to party Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s 19- page proposal saying Dahal’s proposal had led to a serious crisis in the party a Read More...

Record-setting week at Nepse

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 28 The country’s sole secondary market witnessed a number of records broken in the trading week between November 22 and 26, with the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index surging by 6.47 per cent or 115.13 points week-on-week to scale to a new peak. Opening at 1,778.12 p Read More...

Raphinha's late strike gives Leeds victory at Everton

LIVERPOOL: Brazilian winger Raphinha scored his first goal for Leeds United to give his side a 1-0 win in an eventful Premier League game full of disallowed goals and superb saves at Goodison Park on Saturday. With England manager Gareth Southgate watching from the stands, Everton keeper Read More...

MoFAGA

MoFAGA formulates procedure to enhance public accountability

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 28 The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has formulated procedure related to public accountability promotion for its implementation at the local levels. The procedure aims to enhance the public accountability of local governments by making elected repre Read More...

‘Chandragadi airport to be upgraded as per new DPR’

JHAPA, NOVEMBER 28 Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai today said upgradation of Chandragadi airport would be carried out as per the latest detailed project report. Upon receiving a memo submitted by Save Chandragadi Airport Committee, Minister Bhattarai clarified tha Read More...

Jagadamba steel

Industrial blast injures four

BARA, NOVEMBER 28 At least four labourers were injured in an explosion at a furnace of Jagadamba Steel in Jitpursimara sub-metropolis of Bara today. The four persons, including two Indians, were injured in the incident that took place early this morning. The injured have been identified as Read More...

Cold store being built

DHARAN, NOVEMBER 28 Construction of a cold store in Sunsari’s Barahachhetra Municipality has reached the final stage, signalling an end to the plight of having to take local products elsewhere for storage. Sunsari’s Barahachhetra has developed wards in the plains and prioritised livestock Read More...