Nepal | October 21, 2019

NHRC tells govt to punish perpetrators of torture

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 26

The National Human Rights Commission has urged the government to initiate action against the perpetrators of torture.

In a press statement released by the rights body coinciding with the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture today, the NHRC said besides compensating the victims, the government had done very little to bring perpetrators to book.

Though some of the victims have been compensated by the government, perpetrators categorically pointed out by the NHRC have yet to be booked.

According to the NHRC, it has registered nearly 1,910 complaints related to torture. The rights body completed its inquiry into 1,000 complaints.

Of the complaints settled by the rights body, 179 cases are related to recommendations for compensation to the victims and legal action against the perpetrators.

Implementation of the recommendations made by the NHRC is not satisfactory in the case of perpetrators. “Therefore, we would like to take this day as an opportunity to urge the government to punish the perpetrators,” the statement read. Earlier, the NHRC warned that the culture of impunity had been institutionalised in the country as its recommendations to the government to take legal action against those involved in torture and incidents of human rights violation were not duly implemented.

NHRC said it had been monitoring and investigating the cases of torture since it came into being. Investigations and recommendations made by the rights body date back to the Maoist insurgency period. It is also monitoring the prisons and custody rooms for the protection of the right of prisoners.

The NHRC urged the government to upgrade existing amenities in prisons and guarantee basic human rights, including sanitation, room space, quality food and regular health check-ups of the inmates.

Prisons and custody rooms were packed with crimes suspects, beyond their holding capacity.

“The government still uses torture as its weapon to force suspects to confess crime. National and international laws consider torture as a crime. Therefore, it is illegal to torture a person under any excuse,” the statement read.

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


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