Strengthen commission on disappearances: NHRC

Kathmandu, December 29:

The National Human Rights Commission today called on the government to form a powerful commission on disappearances, capable of grilling Nepal Army personnel and the former rebels.

The constitutional rights body advised the government to include the provision in order to make the to-be-formed commission more powerful to handle cases of disappearances.

The NHRC asked the government to authorise the commission — as envisioned by the Person Disappearance (Crime and Punishment) Bill-2008 — to conduct scientific tests and to seek help from national and international experts, if necessary.

The NHRC also asked the government to allow the commission to organise public hearing on the cases under its jurisdiction.

It asked the government to include a provision in the bill to authorise the commission to detain the accused. The NHRC also suggested the government to make the bill compatible with international standards and induct the principles set by the Supreme Court verdict issued on June 1, 2007.

Issuing a press release, NHRC secretary Bishal Khanal also called on the government to recognise the disappearance cases as crime against humanity and to ensure that the forced disappearances in the name of emergency or other crises should not be repeated.

The constitutional rights body also asked the government to include a provision in the bill, authorising the commission to exercise the extra-territorial jurisdiction in relation to the investigation and prosecution of culprits in crimes related to disappearances.