Govt forwards ordinance for authentication

  • Victims say another extension of transitional justice bodies’ tenure without amending laws unacceptable
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 14, 2018-Despite reservations from conflict victims, the government has forwarded the ordinance to amend the existing Acts of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) to the President’s Office for authentication.

Conflict victims say that another extension of the two transitional justice bodies’ tenure, as proposed in the ordinance, without amending the laws as per the Supreme Court’s ruling is unacceptable to them. The SC, in its ruling in January 2015, had ordered the government to amend the laws in line with international standards.

The court had directed striking down a dozen provisions that have been ignored so far, much to the chagrin of victims and rights defenders. The court had ordered criminalisation of torture and disappearances and removal of the statute of limitation for registering conflict-era cases.

It had also ruled out amnesty for perpetrators of grave human rights violations which include unlawful killing, torture, rape and enforced disappearance.

“The President’s Office has received the ordinance,” Kul Prasad Chudal, spokesperson at the office, told the Post without revealing when it would be authenticated.

The Cabinet on January 5 passed the ordinance to extend the terms of the transitional justice mechanisms beyond February 9. The term will be extended only after President Bidya Devi Bhandari approves the ordinance.

The two commissions were formed in February 2015 with a two-year mandate to probe war-era crimes. However, with both the bodies failing to do any significant work, the government last year extended their terms by a year until February 9.

“The government has totally ignored our concern. Extension of the term will only guarantee officials their jobs but the victims won’t get justice,” said Suman Adhikari, president of the Conflict Victims Common Platform.

The one-year extension was also largely wasted as no single complaint has been fully investigated so far. The TRC has hardly completed preliminary investigation into some 800 cases while the CIEDP has just started a detailed probe into 207 cases.

Both the commissions have blamed a lack of budget and resources and the failure to amend the laws for sluggish progress in investigation. The TRC has received some 60,000 complaints while around 3,200 cases have been registered with the CIEDP.

Published: 14-01-2018 07:59

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