KATHMANDU, July 19: While questioning the independence of the ongoing selection process to appoint commissioners at the two transitional justice bodies, the Conflict Victims' Common Platform (CVCP) has demanded to put on hold all works of the recommendation committee immediately.
In a memorandum submitted to the Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal on Thursday, the organization of Maoist conflict victims said that a broader roadmap with a deadline for completion of the transitional justice process be formulated after a meaningful consultation with the key stakeholders be held before the recommendation committee can do its job.
The CVCP said a trustworthy recommendation committee to replace the existing one be formed by amending the Act. “The recommendation committee led by a team selected without political interference and based on a clear and transparent public selection process must have a full authority to recommend the office-bearers for the two commissions," it said.
The CVCP has also demanded that the process to amend the Act must begin instantly, after serious and meaningful consultation with the stakeholders including the conflict victims, based on the spirit of the Constitution, Comprehensive Peace Accord, Supreme Court's ruling and human rights conventions and declarations to which Nepal government is a party to.The statement further says the new commissions must be independent, autonomous and proactive with fixed jurisdictions and adequate authority and function in line with the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling and the Paris Principle.
The conflict victims have maintained that the leadership of the commissions — Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commissioner on Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons – should be selected through a transparent and credible process.
The CVCP has called for picking individuals with substantive contribution and experience in human rights, conflict management or transitional justice sectors to head the commissions.
Among other things, the body has asked the government to consider persons with no direct or indirect involvement with any parties to the conflict for appointment as commissioners.
While asking the government to first develop selection criteria by incorporating their suggestions and make it public, the CVCP has warned that the commissions formed just to show that they exist, without ownership and participation of the victims will not be acceptable to the victim community.
It has also demanded that the government start a consultation process for amending the act before appointing the chairs and members in the two commissions.