Panel on disappearances to seek 1-year term extension

- DEWAN RAI, LALITPUR

Jan 25, 2017-The Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons has decided to seek one year extension of its tenure to investigate into the complaints received from conflict victims.

Its sibling, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is set to take a decision on its term renewal on Wednesday. The two-year mandate of the commissions expires on February 10. As per the law, the commissions’ terms can be extended by one year.

“A formal request for extra term will be forwarded to 

the government on Wednesday,” said CIEDP Chair Lokendra Mallick. 

The commission has received over 2,800 complaints from conflict victims. However, it has completed only the preliminary investigation, which includes screening the complaints and creating a database.

The government took 13 months to approve the regulations of the commission. The understaffed commission still lacks the law to recommend action against perpetrators as the government has not criminalised the act of disappearance. Besides, the government is yet to amend the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act as per the Supreme Court verdict of 2015.

“We are prepared to start a detailed investigation once we get the terms extended,” said Mallick. “We hope the government will enact the new law, amend the existing Act and provide us with logistics.”

The commission, which is criticised for its poor performance, is set to start collecting anti-mortem details of missing persons despite the lack of clear legal definition of the disappeared.

The commission has received complaints from the kin of those who went missing for reasons unrelated to the conflict. Conflict victims who were detained incommunicado have also registered their complaints with the commission.

“We can no longer wait for legal clarity,” said Mallick. “We are already behind 

schedule. We hope the government streamlines legal provisions during the course of investigation.”

Published: 25-01-2017 08:35

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