'UML-Maoist deal breaches transitional justice process'

KATHMANDU: Saying it has breached the current transitional justice process, the Conflict Victims Common Platform Nepal (CVCP) on Friday expressed its concern over the political agreement that the ruling CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist parties struck in order to keep the ruling coalition intact.

In the nine-point agreement, the two parties categorically mentioned that a process will be initiated within 15 days to amend the existing laws in order to work on transitional justice as per the Comprehensive Peace Accord, and a process will immediately begin to withdraw all the cases filed during the armed conflict and other periods related to political reasons or grant clemency to the accused.

At the time we had been drawing attention of the major parties that there were problems in the current transitional process and unless they were addressed properly, the truth, justice and reparation would not be ensured, the CVCP said, the agreement has made us feel that the parties themselves are not in favour of justice and are not serious about the resolution of problems.

"We are shocked by the major two ruling parties' intent to interfere in the current transitional justice process and withdraw the cases from the court and grant clemency (to the accused)," CVCP Chairman Suman Adhikari and General Secretary Ram Bhandari said in a statement.

They maintained that no clemency should be granted to the accused related to grave violation of human rights, humanitarian laws, war crimes, extrajudicial killing, forceful disappearance and rape.

"In the agreement (nine-point agreement between CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist), it has been said laws related to transitional justice would be amended but it has not been made clear for what purpose. Amendment of laws is demand of the conflict victims also and we would like to remind that the only basis for such an amendment is the Supreme Court's order."

Meanwhile, the CVCP expressed concerns over media reports which claimed that security agencies were interrogating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons over complaints filed at them.

While the victims were already feeling insecure, the recent move to the ruling parties favoured the victimisers, the statement remarked.

It urged the National Human Rights Commission, the United Nations and international human rights organisations to protest the agreement.