KATHMANDU, May 24: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has threatened to publicly brand government officials and agencies not implementing the commission's recommendations as 'human rights violators'.
According to NHRC member Sudeep Pathak, NHRC is developing a working procedure to make public the names of officials and government bodies that have ignored the commission's recommendations. He hoped that after the commission's move, the officials and agencies would take human rights violations seriously.
“As the government bodies and officials have not been taking recommendations made by the commission seriously, the NHRC is working to make public the names of such officials and government agencies. The draft of the working procedure has already been finalized and will come into force within a month,” he told reporters at NHRC on Wednesday.
He said that the NHRC has on eight different occasions submitted its recommendations to the government for improving prison conditions and better treatment of detainees under police custody. “But most of our recommendations have not yet been implemented,” he added.
The capacity of all the 74 prisons in the country is 8,000 prisoners but they are currently housing over 16,000. Much worse, most of the prisons are in dilapidated condition, according to an NHRC report.
He said if the government does not implement the commission's recommendations, it will only tarnish the image of the nation in the international arena. “Nepal has been selected as member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, this means our human rights situation has improved. But if the implementing bodies continue to ignore our recommendations, it will not do any good. So, we ask the government bodies to take our suggestions seriously,” he added.
He said that the officials may face serious repercussions if NHRC brands them as “human rights violators”. “Foreign trips of such officials and even promotions might be affected,” he added.
He urged the government to come up with necessary programs in the upcoming budget to improve the conditions in prisons and under police custody.