International organizations including Human Rights Watch express discontent over govt’s apathy toward conflict-era human rights violations

Published On: July 29, 2019 01:40 PM NPT By: Ajit Rai

KATHMANDU, July 29: Four international organizations working for human rights- Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Human Rights Watch and TRIAL International-have said that Nepal government has reneged its promise to administer justice to the victims of decade-long armed conflict.

“We have seen no evidence so far that the authorities of Nepal are serious about fulfilling their obligation to investigate conflict-era violations and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice in fair trials before ordinary civilian courts,”  the press release issued by the four organizations on Monday quotes Raju Chapagai, South Asia researcher at Amnesty International as saying.                    

The four organizations’ joint voice against the government’s failure to provide justice for the victims of the ten-year-long Maoist insurgency comes at a time when conflict victims and human rights groups are criticizing the government for its apathy toward the conflict-era human rights violations and its non-transparent appointment of commissioners to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission on the Investigation of Enforced Disappearances.

They have expressed their dissatisfaction with the  government citing its apathy towards its obligation to conduct probe into conflict-era violations and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“The lack of progress in holding perpetrators accountable for the suffering inflicted upon victims, their families and Nepali society as a whole, is appalling,” the press release quotes ICJ Asia-Pacific Director Frederick Rawski as saying.

They have also criticized the Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli who promised to bring the legal framework governing the transitional justice process into conformity with Nepal’s international human rights law obligations  for his role in establishing  a committee to recommend appointments to the transitional bodies without consulting concerned stakeholders.

"The failure of the government to deliver on its commitment to ensure truth, justice and reparations for the victims of conflict-era abuses shows a dismaying disregard for the protection of human rights,” the press release quotes Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch as saying.

The organizations have urged the government to take the initiative in nominating and appointing commissioners through what they call “consultative and transparent process” , keep its promise to amend the 2014 transitional justice law to ensure the congruity between its legal framework and international human rights standards and Supreme Court rulings and take the transitional justice process forward.

“The legitimacy of Nepal’s transitional justice process lies both on a transparent and consultative appointment process for commissioners, and a strong legal foundation to allow the commissions to fulfil their mandate,” the press release quotes Helena Rodríguez-Bronchú, head of TRIAL International’s Nepal program as saying.

Amnesty International, ICJ and TRIAL International have been urging the government to ensure the compliance with international human rights law. Likewise,  Human Rights Watch called on it to make reforms in the transitional justice law before appointing the commissioners.

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