Govt ignores UNHRC recommendations

  • Int’l day for the disappeared
- DEWAN RAI, Kathmandu

Aug 30, 2015-

Despite repeated requests and remainders, the Nepal government has failed to implement the recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) on the conflict-era enforced disappearance cases.

The HRC has decided 10 individual cases against Nepal, of which eight were related to enforced disappearance and the rest related to torture.

Four cases were filed on behalf of the victims by Track Impunity Always (Trial), a Geneva-based organisation, and four by Advocacy Forum-Nepal.

Among the cases decided are on the enforced disappearances of Surya Prasad Sharma, Yubraj Giri, Dev Bahadur Maharjan, Mukunda Sedhai, Tej Bahadur Bhandari, Gyanendra Tripathi, Jit Man Basnet, and Chakra Bahadur Katwal, who were forcibly arrested, tortured and disappeared by state security forces during the conflict.

“There is no reason for us to be hopeful with this government,” said Ram Bhandari, son of Tej Bahadur Bhandari. “The government has been continuously flouting the orders of the Supreme Court.”

A total of 1,530 people had been forcefully disappeared during the conflict, according to the report prepared by a taskforce of conflict affected people, families, and structure under the Ministry of Peace.

Political parties had agreed to make the situation of the disappeared public within 60 days since signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

The SC on June 2007 had ordered the government to enact a new law to criminalise enforced disappearances and to establish an independent high level Commission of Inquiry on Disappearances in line with the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED).

On February, the government formed two commissions—Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP)—to look into the cases of conflict period.  

In the same month, the SC issued another order to comply with international laws and draft a law criminalising disappearance and torture. However, the government has been ignoring the orders.

The UN body had urged Nepal at different times to “carry out a thorough investigation into the cases, prosecute the culprits and grant appropriate reparations to their relatives.”

The Nepal government been ignoring the calls for years. It has been preparing its Universal Period Report citing formation of the transitional justice mechanism to justify its non-compliance to the UN request.

Without criminalising the act of disappearance and torture, the CIEDP cannot recommend rights violators for action.

“All we can do is investigate into cases of disappearances and establish the truth,” said CIEDP chair Lokendra Mallick.

As the country marks the International Day for the Disappeared, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has urged the government to “establish a credible truth-seeking process that provides justice and reparations to victims and ensures criminal responsibility to perpetrators of enforced disappearances.”

“Victims of enforced disappearances, which includes the families of the disappeared, have the inalienable rights to truth, reparation and justice for their suffering of this heinous crime under international law, and the Government of Nepal has an obligation to ensure these rights,” said Nikhil Narayan, the head of the Nepal Office at the ICJ.

Published: 30-08-2015 08:40

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