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​NHRC stresses need for transitional justice

Graphic: Commission members speak with media at the report launch

Strong and effective transitional justice mechanisms are vital for the country, the National Human Rights Commission has said in a new report.

The National Human Rights Commission has blamed the "lack of political will" to complete the remaining task of the peace process, while it highlights arms management, army integration and promulgation of the constitution as major achievements of the decade since the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) ended the Maoist insurgency.

The human rights watchdog, in a briefing paper on the rights situation released on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the CPA, has commended the provisions of fundamental rights, inclusive state, federalism, secularism and republic.

Although the commission has appreciated the government's effort to set up the transitional justice mechanism, it has shown concerns over the apathy for empowering the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons.

"We have a consistent stand on the ongoing transitional justice process," said NHRC Chairman Anup Raj Sharma.

"We need transitional justice commissions but legislation to govern such bodies should involve international practices, amendment to the existing laws in line with the court verdict and enactment of the required laws, which unfortunately never happened."

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal took office in August with a promise to conclude the remaining tasks of the peace process. His party CPN (Maoist Centre) and coalition partner Nepali Congress had signed a deal to "amend laws related to transitional justice mechanisms to make their work more effective and to provide compensation for victims of the decade-long conflict".

"The government should immediately pass the required laws and provide the commissions with the logistics if we are to move the process," said Sharma.

"The commissions have not been able to hire investigation officers, while they have received over 60,000 complaints." The victims' community and rights defenders, who have been critical of the transitional justice process, said the commissions should not be whining about a resource crunch and the government's non-cooperation.

Date: 21 November 2016

Source: Kathmandu Post

Image credits

  1. Commission members speak with media at the report launch - National Human Rights Commission of Nepal