Human rights lawyers recommend apolitical, competent appointments

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Human rights lawyers recommend apolitical, competent appointments

Sep 28, 2014-

Human rights lawyers have suggested the committee for recommending appointments in transitional justice mechanisms to nominate non-political and competent individuals to the posts of chairpersons and members of the commissions for truth and reconciliation and enforced disappearances.

The committee is entrusted to appoint the officials in the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission for Enquiry into Enforced Disappearance.

In a consultation held by the committee on Sunday, the lawyers said that the capability, commitment and expertise are important aspects of the commissions. “The jurisdiction and responsibilities of the commission are more important than how the commissions are formed,” said advocate Satish Raj Mainali.

He argued that the commissions should take the victims, perpetrators and witness into confidence to establish the truth. “The issue of prosecution and amnesty will come after the truth has been established,” he said, referring to highly debated issues since the promulgation of transitional mechanism law in April.

A total of 234 victims from both rebel and state sides on June had lodged a petition claiming the provisions in the Act regarding amnesty and reconciliation are inconsistent with the Supreme Court order. The SC in January had ordered for amendment to the provision on amnesty to ensure victims’ mandatory consent before the authorities decide to pardon the perpetrators of war-time crimes and human rights violations.  

“Inclusion also should be taken into account while forming the commissions,” said lawyer Sarita Gautam. She echoed Mainali regarding women representation in the commission. Other participant also said that representation of women in the commissions are crucial since most of the victims were women.

The committee’s Working Procedure has the provision of including at least one woman in both the commissions.

Advocate Raju Chapagain said that the committee should make a judicious decision in selecting the commissioners. “The government would be better off by creating welcoming environment while initiating the process,” he said. “The commissions are not just meant to look into cases of rights violations, but to transform the society fraught with grievances and anger.”

The participants during also suggested the committee to hold consultations at the regional level. They also mentioned that the international community is closely following the progress of Nepal’s transitional justice process. The committee is set to consult with civil society member on October 14.

Published: 29-09-2014 08:57

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