Bring suppressors to book: Arbour

Wants guilty Maoists, army men prosecuted

Kathmandu, January 24:

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, today said all army officials and Maoists commanders violating human rights should be brought to justice.

She hoped “no amnesty would be granted” to perpetrators of crime against humanity. “Political parties and Maoists have committed to protect and promote human rights. Now that we need to see evidence that those commitments are real,” she said at a press conference at the UN House, Pulchowk, before leaving for New York this afternoon after wrapping her six-day visit to Nepal.

Arbour said her Nepal visit mainly focused on the need to end impunity, which she said was an essential step to preventing future human rights violations, and building a society, which recognises that violence is not acceptable and that no-one is above the law. Arbour, however, said got the “impression that the government had no immediate commitment to bring those people to book.”

“In transitions to peace, it is common to hear warnings that looking into past abuses will jeopardise the fragile political process,” she said, adding, “This is false.” Now the parties to peace accord must act without delay to clarify whereabouts or fate of all those who disappeared, and to provide justice and redress for their families.

The Lahan incident, Arbour said, was of a “great concern”.

The terai incidents, she said, were the result of deep underlying causes for frustration. During her meeting with Maoist leaders, Arbour urged them to make public commitments that they are willing to have their past violence examined. Asked about whether the institution of monarchy has a role, she said, “In a democracy all forces, including monarchy, should have their voices.”

EU grant to OHCHR

KATHMANDU: Ambassadors and representatives of member states of the European Union (EU) met Louise Arbour on Tuesday. EU member states and the European Commission have provided 11.5 million Euro to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal, stated a release issued on Wednesday by the German embassy

in Kathmandu. Germany currently holds the EU presidency. — HNS

Arbour’s hope

KATHMANDU: Arbour said case of Maina Sunuwar has come “to symbolise the struggle for victims of rights violations” and their relatives to get justice. “I am encouraged that Home Minister and the Army Chief have assured me that justice will be done. I was informed that orders will be given to launch a police probe to clarify circumstances of her death so that those responsible can be held accountable. ” — HNS