AI presses for independent probe into Tarai atrocities

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 25, 2016-

The Amnesty International has pointed out “overly violent” response to the Madhesi community for demanding proportional inclusion and representation in the state mechanism and redrawing of provincial boundaries, which ultimately resulted in deaths of over 50 people in the Tarai.

In its annual report released on Wednesday, the AI has also warned against continuity of the culture of impunity in Nepal. The 408-page report raises the issue of “amnesty provision” of the Transitional Justice Act, which it argued could give clean chit to perpetrators of serious rights violations committed during the conflict.

The Nepal government has appealed for review of the Supreme Court ruling arguing this should not be a problem if the victims want to forgive and forget the past deed. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons formed say they would abide by the SC ruling. However, the government has still been reluctant to amend the Act in line with the SC verdict. The report also expresses concern about the government apathy for the rights situation in the Tarai. The state has not formed a judicial committee to probe into the Tarai incidents. In the five-month long “mostly violent protest”, at least 40 civilians and 10 security personnel were killed since August in the plains. The state, however, has arrested a good number of civilians in connection with the violence.

“Nepal’s new constitution--which fell far short on several key human rights issues—sparked protests across the country, which in many cases triggered an overly violent response by police,” said the rights body. “The killing of more than 50 protesters since August 2015 by police is an appalling stain on Nepal’s human rights records--these deaths must be promptly, independently and impartially investigated.”

The report has raised the issue of prevailing discrimination on the basis of gender, caste, class, ethnic origin and religion, which still persisted despite the legal regime to criminalise such acts. The rights organisation has also criticised the government for failing to act swiftly to address the problems of the earthquake survivors for long.

The report has raised concerns of half a million Nepali migrant workers who are duped at home, while they face exploitation at workplace in the lack of labour agreements.

Published: 25-02-2016 09:07

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