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CIEDP asks govt to criminalise enforced disapperances

- Post Report, Kathmandu
CIEDP chairman says in the absence of a law regarding enforced disappearances, the commission would have limited jurisdiction of recommending reparation

Sep 1, 2015-The Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) has urged the government to criminalise the enforced disappearances.

Speaking at a programme organised to commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared on Monday, CIEDP Chairman Lokendra Mallick said in the absence of a law regarding enforced disappearances, the commission would have limited jurisdiction of recommending reparation.

“Law is necessary to recommend action against perpetrators, but we don’t have one,” Mallick said. “The act of enforced disappearance is not punishable under the existing law.”

Although Nepal is a signatory to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, it has not criminalised enforced disappearances.

Surya Kiran Gurung, chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, highlighted the need of a law on torture and disappearance. He said that the newly formed commissions would ensure justice to the victims’ families. On behalf of the disappeared community, Ram Bhandari urged the government to study the Supreme Court (SC) verdicts at various time.

“We have the right to know what happened to our relatives,” he said. “It is the responsibility of the state to ensure economic, social and cultural rights of the families of the disappeared.”

On June 1, 2007, the SC had directed government to criminalise enforced disappearance cases. More recently, the court issued two other orders to criminalise enforced disappearances, amend the laws in line with international human rights laws and practices, and ensure participation of victims in the transitional justice process.

Defending the government position, Peace Minister Narahari Acharya insisted that the law should not be an obstacle for newly formed commissions to investigate cases of rights violations that took place during the conflict.

“We admit the fact that the political issues have overshadowed social and human aspect, but the government is sensitive towards the plight of the families of the disappeared,” he said.

He assured that the government will implement the recommendations made by the commission.

Published: 01-09-2015 09:07

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