Rights violators can’t be let off, say experts

Kathmandu, February 23:

Those who committed serious violation of Human Rights during 12 years of Maoist insurgency may breathe a sigh of relief with the Maoists joining the mainstream and talk of punishment against them somehow waning, but they cannot finally go scot-free, experts said.

Even if the government forgets and forgives the violators, their atrocities may come under the purview of international law and any other nation may prosecute the guilty, said advocate Govind Bandi in an interaction programme organised by Human Rights and Democratic Forum here today. Killing, rape, disappearance both by the Maoists and the security forces and encounter related casualties constitute serious violations of human rights, advocate Satis Krishna Kharel said. All deaths that occurred in the government’s custody and the Maoist attack on a bus in Madhi also constitute serious violation of human rights, he said, adding that the major flaws inherent in the government proposed bill regarding Truth and Reconstruction Commission (TRC) was that it tends to forget and forgive the culprits.

According to him, the TRC should not act as court but should work only as a facilitator. In minor cases of human rights violation, the commission, according to experts, could, as has happened in other countries, recommend amnesty for the culprits but only after the victims are satisfied. “But the government bill does not incorporate this provision,” Kharel said.

According to him, in order to ensure neutrality in the commission to be formed, the appointment of the commissioners and other staffers should be done in a more professional way keeping in mind the international practice. He also suggested that since the commission might have to handle the cases of high profile personalities, including top security officers, at least two UN experts should also be appointed as commissioners.