Transitional justice: CIEDP demands legal reforms, logistical help

- Post Report, Kathmandu
The commission, which has got over 2,800 complaints from conflict victims, has completed cases to be investigated

Sep 3, 2016-The Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) has demanded legal reforms and logistical support for speeding up the transitional justice process.

In a meeting with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Thursday, the commission urged him to criminalise the act of disappearance and amend the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act immediately to move the transitional justice process forward.

The commission, which has received over 2,800 complaints from conflict victims, has already completed the first screening of the cases to be investigated. The commission is scheduled to begin a detailed investigation from mid-October.

The government, however, has not amended the Act in line with the Supreme Court verdict to make it compatible with international laws and transitional justice principles. The court had ordered the government to do so two years ago.

Besides, the commission requires a law to criminalise the act of disappearance to book the perpetrators.

As the government delayed the drafting of the bill, the CIEDP itself had prepared a draft bill to criminalise the act of disappearance and forwarded it to the government. However, the bill has not made it to the Legislation Committee in almost a year.

A separate Act is required to define the legal status of disappeared persons. Relatives of the disappeared have not been able to make use of the property registered in the name of the disappeared person. The existing law prohibits use and transfer of property without the owner’s permission.

The commission has also asked for the authority to recommend interim relief to conflict victims’ families. Currently, the government holds the mandate to announce interim relief packages. The commission argued that the interim relief and reparations should be determined considering the need and circumstance of an individual. “It should be specific to the need and wish of an individual affected,” said CIEDP Chair Lokendra Mallick.

The commission has also demanded revision to reparation provisions in the commission’s regulations. The commission can recommend up to Rs300,000 in reparations, which has drawn criticism from all quarters. A writ petition has been filed in the court against the provisions.

Mallick, on the logistical part, drew the attention of PM Dahal to the crunch of human resource and funds.

The commission has received Rs130 million when it had demanded Rs300 million. The commission has not been able to hire experts for investigation in the lack of funds.

In response, Prime Minister Dahal assured the commission all kinds of support to conclude the peace process. “I have taken this issue seriously as it is the last remaining component of the peace process,” PM Dahal told office bearers of the commission.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ajaya Shankar Nayak, Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi, Attorney General Raman Kumar Shrestha and Law Secretary Tek Prasad Dhungana were present during the meeting.

Published: 03-09-2016 09:08

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