Zero rule of law in Nepal, UN told

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 4:

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) presented its report — Zero rule of law in Nepal — at the sixty-first session of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.

The report raised concerns about the deteriorating situation of human rights and rule of law in Nepal and urged the commission to take stock of the situation.

The Hong Kong-based body in its statement said Nepal has been hit by a “man-made tsunami that has caused at least as much damage.”

It urged the UN commission to take serious initiatives towards ending the practices of large-scale disappearances, killings and torture in Nepal, and ensuring thorough investigation into the atrocities that have already been committed. It also urged the commission to focus on effective monitoring and intervention in Nepal.

The centre further criticised the international community for ignoring the crisis in Nepal, which has resulted in the destruction of basic institutions such as courts, law-enforcement units and the bureaucracy. It pointed out the need for the international community to make the government of Nepal understand that it has no other option but to bring the security forces under control. “The blanket of impunity covering the army and police must be removed without delay and the international intervention must, therefore, amount to more than the posting of some advisers to the government,” it said.

The centre has detailed incidents of torture, forced disappearance, extra-judicial killing and violence against women in Nepal. “A regime for human rights protection in Nepal no longer exists because the legal system has ceased to function,” it said.

“The courts’ reluctance to entertain habeas corpus writs for disappeared persons speaks to the wider policy approving of forced disappearances and concomitant gross abuse of human rights. Where court orders are issued they are invariably ignored or otherwise violated,” said the report.

“Although the UN and the international community are aware on Nepal’s situation, they do not

have a full understanding of Nepal’s crisis. Powerful neighbours, particularly India, lack clear strategies to address the daily worsening events. Nor do they appear to be taking steps to develop any,” it said.

It warned that the world could witness another tragedy of Cambodian proportions unfold in Nepal.