War victims demand reforms in transitional justice bodies

  • Seek mechanism to build consensus to take transitional justice process to its logical end
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Nov 22, 2018-

Conflict victims have demanded reforms in the two transitional justice commissions that have largely failed to achieve the desired progress.

Noting that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission on Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons have done very little in the last four years, the Conflict Victims Common Platform has called for establishing a credible mechanism with the participation of all stakeholders to take the transitional justice process to its logical end.  

The proposed mechanism should build a consensus on future course of transitional justice process and the existing commissions should be reformed accordingly, the platform has suggested in its charter that was issued on the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord on Wednesday.

 The platform, which comprises 13 organisations advocating for justice for the victims of the decade-long Maoist insurgency, has also advised the government against extending the terms of the two commissions under current circumstance. It has warned of seeking an alternative recourse to justice if their terms are extended without making the much-needed reforms to take transitional justice process to its logical end.

The tenures of the two commissions, formed in 2015, expire in three months.

The TRC and the CIEDP have together received around 66,000 complaints on war-time crimes. But not even 10 percent of these complaints have gone through the preliminary investigation process.   

The platform believes that only reformed transitional bodies could conclude the investigations into conflict-era cases.

Truth-seeking, justice and reparation for victims; prosecution and punishment for perpetrators; institutional reforms; end of impunity; and reconciliation should be the tenets of transitional justice, the platform has mentioned in its charter.

The conflict victims have sought public apology from the state, former Maoist insurgents and the leadership of major political parties for committing human rights violations during the conflict.

Public commitment from the government, the ruling parties and the opposition to take the transitional justice to its meaningful end in line with the Constitution of Nepal and the Comprehensive Peace Accord, honouring and recognising the conflict victims, and taking responsibility of children orphaned as a direct result of war are other key demands mentioned in the charter.

Bhagiram Chaudhari, chairperson of the platform, said the entire victim community had presented its unanimous position in the charter and it was time for the political leadership to reciprocate with a similar gesture.

Published: 22-11-2018 07:34

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