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Conflict victims work on demand paper to press for justice

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Nov 13, 2018-

Amid delay in probing war-era crimes and cases of human rights violations, conflict victims are coming up with a demand paper to exert pressure on the government and the political parties to expedite the transitional justice process.

Conflict Victims Common Platform, the umbrella body of 13 organisations advocating justice for the war-era victims, is holding a national gathering on November 20 to finalise the demand paper. Around 250 conflict victims will gather in the Capital to finalise the document that will present their position on how the transitional justice process should move ahead.

The platform has already held regional gatherings to take inputs from victims living across the country. The demand paper will have victims’ position on amendment to the existing Transitional Justice Act, works of Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP), and the role of political parties.

Around 12 years since the Maoists joined mainstream politics, thousands of people, who suffered at the hands of state security forces and the Maoist insurgents between 1996 and 2006, have largely been deprived of justice.

The families of those killed and forcibly disappeared have received Rs1 million each, but the victims of sexual assault, rape and torture have not received any support.

 

CVCP Chair Bhagi Ram Chaudhari said their demand paper, which will be made public on November 21 coinciding with 12th anniversary of the signing of Comprehensive Peace Accord, will offer a way out to the existing stalemate in concluding the transitional justice process.

“We believe there should be a compromise from all the sides without compromising on basic principle of transitional justice,” he said. “The demand paper is aimed at offering a solution.”

The gathering will also have participation of former child soldiers and widows of security personnel who lost their lives during a decade-long insurgency.

The CVCP is also preparing to consult with top leadership from major political parties before presenting their demand.

“We had to take the initiative after realising that there would be no progress unless we create a pressure on the government and the political parties,” Chaudhari said.

Despite making several promises to expedite the transitional justice process, the government and the political parties seem reluctant to offer redress for the atrocities suffered by innocent people and families during the war.

The TRC and the CIEDP have not made expected progress in their investigations into war-era crimes due to non-cooperation from the government and the political parties.

 The TRC has received around 33,000 complaints while CIEDP has around 3,000 cases registered since the two bodies were formed about four years ago. But they have hardly begun the investigation process. The TRC has not even finished studying 5,000 complaints so far while the CIEDP is yet to complete the preliminary investigation on over half of the registered cases.

The extended terms of both commissions, formed in February 2015, ends in three months. Though the government has not made its position clear, it is likely that their terms will be extended yet again.

Published: 13-11-2018 07:36

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