Rights activists want govt to ratify Rome Statute

Kathmandu, May 11:

Human rights activists and political leaders want the government to ratify the Rome Statute so that future cases of human rights violation and war crimes can be taken to the International Criminal Court.

Human rights violation and crime against humanity will end if Nepal ratifies the Rome Statute, said Krishna Pahadi, former chairman of the Human Rights and Peace Society of Nepal. Emphasising that everybody wants peace, he said Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist leader Prachanda should have led the peace talks team.

“If Koirala and Prachanda could strike an agreement in Delhi, why couldn’t they lead their talks teams?” he wondered. Both the parties, according to him, could be waiting for an opportune moment for the heat of the recent movement and the demand for Constituent Assembly to fade away. He made this comment at a programme titled ‘Impunity and ICC Ratification’, organised by Amnesty International Nepal here today.

Kaoru Okuizumi, representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights-Nepal, said Nepal will be the first country in the South Asian region if it immediately ratifies the Rome Statute. “Action is taken on crimes committed after the ratification of the Statute and not the ones prior to the ratification,” she said. So far, 100 countries have ratified the statute.

MP Subash Nemwang said the recent political development is an initial achievement and that many challenges lie ahead. “We should move ahead with caution,” he said, calling for an end to impunity. Parliament is positive about addressing the issue of impunity, he said.

Leader of the Nepal Congress (Democratic) Pradip Giri also urged the authorities to ratify the Rome Statute.

Subodh Raj Pyakurel, chairman of the Informal Sector Service Centre, expressed concern over the possibility of recurrence of human rights violations and crimes.