‘Probe killing of five Dhanusha youths’

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Aug 30, 2014-

Amnesty International on Friday has urged Nepal to conduct a thorough investigation into the extrajudicial killing of the five youths in Dhanusha in 2003. The bodies of the five men taken into custody by security forces were exhumed from the banks of the Kamala River in 2011 and handed over to their families amidst a function in July this year. The forensic reports suggest that these men were blindfolded and shot with bullets used only by the Nepal Army at the time.

More than 1300 people are believed to have disappeared during the conflict between 1996 and 2006. According to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Dhanusha victims are five of the nine missing whose bodies have been identified. The Commission is currently searching for 46 missing persons. In a press statement, Amnesty said that the Nepal government should not wait until the formation of the Commission for the Investigation of Disappeared Persons to bring the Dhanusha perpetrators to justice.

“The National Human Rights Commission was involved in the handover of the remains. But the state did not admit to the murders,” said Ram Kumar Bhandari, chairperson of the National Network of Families of the Disappeared and Missing. Bhandari’s father was taken in by the security forces in 2001 and never seen again.

Conflict victims are dissatisfied by the recently passed Truth and Reconciliation Act’s emphasis on reconciliation. The Act also grants the Truth and Reconciliation Commission discretionary power to pardon perpetrators of serious crimes.

“The state doesn’t criminalise disappearance and stalls the police investigation into the murders of the Dhanusha victims, but arms the Commission with a power to hurt victims,” said Bhandari.

Enraged at the Act, the conflict victims filed a case with the Supreme Court on June 3.  

The court did not issue a stay order and the government subsequently formed a recommendation committee on June 16. The next hearing on the case is on September 4.

“We are not hopeful about the hearing. The lack of a stay order means that the Supreme Court is not serious about conflict victims either,” said Bhandari.

Published: 31-08-2014 09:23

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