Nepal | October 23, 2020

NCP urged to reconsider Sapkota’s nomination

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, January 25

The International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and TRIAL International jointly issued a press release today opposing the candidacy of Agni Prasad Sapkota for the post of speaker. These organisations urged the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) to reconsider Sapkota’s candidacy.

NCP should reconsider Sapkota’s nomination as speaker of the Parliament until there is thorough and independent investigation, the organisations said.

Sapkota has been accused of involvement in the abduction and murder of Arjun Lama in 2005 in Kavre. The case is a subject of proceedings before the Supreme Court of Nepal.

“Nepal authorities should not appoint to high office people under investigation for human rights abuses, when they could interfere with investigation,” said Audrey Oettli, programme manager at TRIAL International.

“Such appointments are yet another illustration of the government’s unwillingness to demonstrate basic commitment to holding perpetrators of conflict-era rights abuses accountable.”

In March 2008, the Supreme Court directed the police to register a case against Sapkota for abducting and killing Lama and investigate. Police did not comply.

The organisations said that in 2010, Australia and the US rejected visa applications from Sapkota due to allegations of serious human rights violations.

These organisations reminded that when Sapkota was appointed information and communications minister in May 2011, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had issued a statement expressing concern, saying that states have a responsibility ‘to ensure that a person is fully cleared after thorough investigation before any appointment to a high public office is announced’.

“The government and political parties in Nepal are increasingly showing they are unwilling, even incapable of delivering truth, justice and reparations to conflict victims,” said Biraj Patnaik, South Asia Director at Amnesty International. “Their signal of impunity will further push victims and activists to seek justice internationally under universal jurisdiction. Instead of putting those suspected of criminal responsibility into positions of power, the government should bring them to justice in fair trials.”

The organisations expressed concern about the decision appointing commissioners to the two transitional justice commissions without adequate consultations and without amending the legal framework to make it consistent with international human rights law and Supreme Court of Nepal rulings.

“Nepal’s leaders know a transparent process is essential to ensure justice and accountability for egregious rights violations during conflict, but they keep trying to protect those responsible for abuses,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “If the political leadership continues to evade responsibility, they leave little choice for victims, but to approach courts outside the country.”

On 18 January 2020, a committee formed by the government to recommend names for commissioners for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission on the Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons submitted its nominations despite demands from victims’ groups and civil society that the government first amend the transitional justice legal framework to ensure that it complies with Nepal’s international obligations and is responsive to victims’ concerns.

The government should amend the 2014 Transitional Justice Act to make it consistent with the Supreme Court’s rulings and international human rights standards, the groups said.

“The government’s decision to carry out another rushed and secretive set of consultations fails to respect longstanding demands of victims and civil society,” said Frederick Rawski, ICJ’s Asia-Pacific director. “It also makes it very difficult to take seriously the statements of political leaders that they are committed to supporting a victim-centred and human rights compliant process.”

A version of this article appears in print on January 26, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 41.19 million, death toll at 1,130,036

LONDON: More than 41.19 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,130,036​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December Read More...

Bale starts for Spurs in comfortable 3-0 win over LASK

LONDON: Gareth Bale started for Tottenham Hotspur for the first time in seven years and helped them to a 3-0 win over Austria’s LASK in their first match of the Europa League group phase on Thursday. Lucas Moura opened the scoring after 18 minutes and Bale’s square pass was turned Read More...

Free COVID treatment people’s right: Deuba

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 22 The main opposition Nepali Congress today condemned the government’s decision to charge people for COVID-19 test and treatment. NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba issued a press release demanding repeal of the government’s decision. Deuba urged the government to provide Read More...

‘NHRC report a positive step towards justice’

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 22 A recent report published by the National Human Rights Commission that features details of human rights violations committed by 286 persons in the last two decades is a step towards ensuring accountability and combating impunity for human rights abuses in Nepal, said Asian N Read More...

Media houses asked to provide salary, facilities to working journalists

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 22 The Federation of Nepali Journalists has demanded that all the media houses immediately release due payments, including regular remuneration and Dashain allowance to working journalists and employees. Issuing a statement here today, FNJ General Secretary Ramesh Bista made Read More...

Special security strategy for festivals

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 22 The Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari, has enforced a special security strategy in Kathmandu valley, bearing in mind potential criminal and unlawful activities during the festive season. According to MPO, the new security arrangements were put in place to make secur Read More...

NA to organise symbolic Phulpati Badhai today

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 22 The Nepali Army is going to organise Phulpati Badhai ceremony tomorrow at Sainik Manch in Tundikhel, Kathmandu. The day marks the seventh day of the 10-day Dashain festival. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the supreme commander-in-chief of Nepali Army, will grace the e Read More...

Manang Village, Marshyangdi river, Gangapurna lake

Hotels in Manang reopen

LAMJUNG, OCTOBER 22 The hotels that closed for the past many months due to coronavirus have resumed operation at Manang Disyang Rural Municipality, Manang. Hotels in Pisang, Ngawal, Humde, Bhakra, Tankigaun, Tankimanang, Gharu and Khangsar of the rural municipality opened on October 14. Tou Read More...