Nepal: Justice stalled for conflict-era crimes
The Government of Nepal has failed to fulfill its commitment to provide justice for the victims of the country’s decade-long armed conflict, Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Human Rights Watch (HRW), and TRIAL International said today.
The organizations echoed statements by victims and human rights groups about the Nepal government’s inaction on addressing conflict-era human rights violations, and a lack of transparency in the appointment of commissioners to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and to the Commission on the Investigation of Enforced Disappearances.
After being elected in 2018, Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli renewed promises that the legal framework governing the transitional justice process would be brought into conformity with Nepal’s international human rights law obligations, as the Supreme Court had repeatedly directed. However, the government never amended the law, and instead pushed forward – without adequate consultation – with the establishment of a committee to recommend appointments to the transitional justice bodies. “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,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at HRW.
The organizations call on the government to:
- suspend the current process, and initiate a consultative and transparent process for the nomination and appointment of commissioners;
- follow through on commitments to amend the 2014 transitional justice law to ensure that the legal framework is consistent with international human rights standards and Supreme Court rulings;
- adopt and publicize a plan for taking 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,” said Helena Rodríguez-Bronchú, head of TRIAL International’s Nepal program. “Societal consensus is crucial for both factors.”