Platform denies victims’ consent for concessions to war criminals

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 21, 2018-

The victims of decade-long Maoist insurgency are against providing any kinds of concession to the perpetrators while resolving the war-era cases of crimes through transitional justice mechanisms.

The Conflict Victims Common Platform (CVCP), an umbrella body of 13 organisation, said the government had not consulted with them adequately while drafting amendment to the Act on Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons and Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the CVCP has said the authorities concerned were coming up with misleading messages, claiming that the victims had given their consent to the amendment with the provision of concession to the perpetrators in the judicial actions.

The government is working on amending the draft without involving the victims in the process, the CVCP has said in the statement. “This raises suspicion over the intent of the government which has been claiming the amendment would be made as per the spirit of Supreme Court’s verdict.”

In response to the victims’ demand for honouring their consent before proceeding with amendment to the transitional justice law, the government, together with the Office of the Attorney General, had held two rounds of consultations with the victims. But the victims said that was not adequate.

The victims have demanded that the amendment Act should clearly define grave crimes and not allow amnesty to perpetrators of unlawful killings, rapes, enforced disappearances and torture as directed by the apex court. They have also asked the government

to incorporate the provisions of removing the statute of limitation for reporting incidents of sexual assault and rape in line with the apex court verdict.

Criminalisation of torture and enforced disappearance, formation of a special court and consultations before determining the working procedure and jurisdiction of the court are other concerns of the victims. The amended Act should include a provision barring cases that are sub-judice in court from being transferred to the quasi-judicial transitional justice bodies, the victims have demanded.

Besides, the admendment should ensure reparation as the right of victims and return of property seized during the Maoist insurgency. “Reconciliation is only possible with prior consent of victims and protection of the victims and witnesses,” the statement said, calling for addressing the concerns of minor soldiers and those displaced from jobs and protection of documents through changes in the Act.

Responding to the CVCP’s demands, Minister for Law and Justice Sher Bahadur Tamang has

assured he would provide the victims with the draft bill for further discussions. “The draft will be presented to the victims in the presence of officials from the National Human Rights Commission,” Minister Tamang said.

Published: 21-06-2018 07:22

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