South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

As the Parliament prepares to discuss the Bill on Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission of Inquiry on Disappearances, the International Center for Transitional Justice has expressed its deep concern about the Bill retaining flaws that were rejected by the Supreme Court of Nepal in January.
A press release issued by the international rights body has said: In light of the Supreme Court ruling, a panel of experts has put forth revised language to correct these flaws, however, the Nepal government has not made the necessary changes in the Bill.
ICTJ, an international non-governmental organisation headquartered in New York, has urged the government of Nepal to amend the draft law ‘before it is too late.’

“The Parliament discussion is still an opportunity to amend the Bill in order to create two strong, independent commissions,” said ICTJ president David Tolbert in the press statement. “Retaining the problematic provisions in these proposals only serves to once again stall a process that has already seen extensive delays.”
ICTJ has said in its release that the Bill to create the TRC and CID has faced continual delays in its path towards becoming law.
On January 2, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that aspects of the Bill were unconstitutional and would constitute a breach in the country’s international legal obligations.
“Specifically, the court rejected the possibility that the truth commission could grant amnesty to perpetrators of serious violations of human rights,” the ICTJ said.
The Parliament is to begin discussion on the Bill from tomorrow.
“Nepal’s MPs should use the debate to amend provisions which have previously been rejected by the Supreme Court and create an independent and powerful truth commission,” read the release. “Additionally, Parliament still has an opportunity to focus on the proposed commission of inquiry on disappearances on finding, recovering, and identifying missing persons.”
The rights body added that the main objective of the bill should be to alleviate the suffering of victims by handing over to families the human remains of their lost loved-ones.
“By creating robust mechanism to reckon with the past, Nepalis can finally begin to build a society where such abuses are much less likely to occur again,” ICTJ has added.
“Credible and effective truth-seeking bodies do not exempt the state of its obligation to investigate and prosecute international crimes committed by parties to the conflict,” said David Tolbert in the release. “The victims of human rights abuses and society at large deserve better from their MPs than to see the process derailed again at this late stage.” –

Source: The Himalayan Times – 19.04.2014 –