Doramba massacre was a breach of international humanitarian law

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 17

On 17 August 2003, the then Royal Nepal Army arrested and executed 21 persons in Doramba, Ramechhap, disrupting the ceasefire and the second round of peace talks between the government and Maoist insurgents.

Eighteen years on, the state is still reluctant and indisposed to bring even a single perpetrator of the massacre before the law.

According to Advocacy Forum-Nepal, the Doramba massacre, exceptional in its brutality, was a breach of international humanitarian law and gross violation of human rights. However, state institutions such as the army deliberately tried to brush off the incident by claiming that a 'few of those killed in Doramba were killed unlawfully, but a large number were killed in lawful combat situation.' "Although the army also accepted the incident as unlawful, no investigation has been carried out. Failure to impartially and independently investigate gross human rights violation and humanitarian law violations has allowed the perpetrators of the Doramba massacre to enjoy impunity," said AF-Nepal in a press release. All these years, several high-ranking political leaders made promises to ensure Doramba victims truth, justice, reparations, and memorialisation, they forgot about them once they were in power.

The promises remain unfulfilled to this day. "On the 18th anniversary of the heinous massacre in Doramba, AF-Nepal stands in solidarity with the families of the Doramba massacre in their quest for justice. We remind the authorities of the need of an independent and impartial investigation of past violations, and to bring those responsible to justice in order to break the cycle of impunity in the country," it said.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 18 2021, of The Himalayan Times.