Their terms were extended by a year on Thursday.
For conflict victims, it has been too long a wait, while the commissions, which are mandated to investigate and recommend action, are hamstrung by a lack of teeth, as laws in line with court orders are yet to be put in place. The commissions were formed under legislation that allows perpetrators amnesties. Supreme Court orders to
bring the legislation in line with Nepal’s obligations under international law have been largely ignored.
A draft of the first amendment to the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act 2014 has been prepared, proposing a maximum of 20 years of jail for the perpetrators of murder and disappearance. The draft seeks to define disappearance. It has also provisioned reparations for rape and sexual assault victims.
“The state has failed to ensure justice. Even court orders have not been implemented,” says Punya Chaudhary, whose husband was killed during the insurgency. Conflict victims are chagrined by the state for making them an object of neglect. When Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal returned to power a second time in August last year, he underlined concluding the remaining tasks of the peace process as his top priority. But hardly have things moved forward in that direction, say conflict victims and rights activists.
International rights groups have long been calling on the government and political parties to show commitment and ensure accountability for human rights abuses committed during the armed conflict.
Dropada Neupane, whose husband was killed in 2004, also of Dang, says, “We were never given even hope that justice will be delivered.”
“Programmes are organised in the name of conflict victims like us, and we are made to cry. When it comes to justice delivery, we are a forgotten lot,” she says.
Extension of terms of the TRC and CIEDP may give a flicker of hope to conflict victims, but rights activists underscore the need of commitment from the government and political parties.
With nowhere to go, conflict victims can only wait for justice to be delivered without knowing when.
They have but one thing to say: Action not empty words.Published: 2017-02-10 08:33:48