Nepal issues transitional justice mechanism ordina

Last Updated: Sunday, September 2, 2012 - 23:45

Kathmandu: Nepal government has issued an ordinance to allow amnesty for crimes committed during the nation`s civil war from 1996 to 2006, prompting angry reaction from rights groups and some western countries.

Disappointed with the ordinance on transitional justice mechanisms, western countries are unlikely to extend political and financial support to the Commission on Disappearance, Truth and Reconciliation to be formed under the ordinance.

The Impunity Working Group, an informal platform of the diplomatic missions for discussion on human rights issues, had discussed in detail the content of the ordinance currently being considered by President Ram Baran Yadav.

"Both the meetings concluded that the ordinance does not meet international standards and is contrary to Nepal`s commitment under international laws," media here reported quoting?diplomatic sources.

"We are unlikely to extend our political and economic support to the commission to be formed under such ordinance."

The Impunity Working Group is concerned mainly with three issues with regard to the ordinance, according to the sources.

First, the provision to give amnesty to perpetrators of serious human rights violations is unacceptable to them.

They have stressed that the violators of serious human rights such as rape, extra-judicial killings, torture, enforced disappearances and war crimes should be investigated and prosecuted.

Second, the provision to appoint members of the commission through consultation with political parties has also drawn their concern. They say this provision is likely to undermine independence of the commission.

Finally, the ordinance is not in line with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and a ruling of the Supreme Court verdict of 2007.

The Supreme Court had directed the government to form a separate commission to find out the whereabouts of the people disappeared during the conflict besides forming the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

"The ordinance is far weaker than the bills on the Commission of Enforced Disappearance discussed in the Bills Committee of parliament," according to media report.

The heads of the diplomatic missions are reportedly planning to jointly meet the President and leadership of the parties to convey their concerns.

?"We will seek the response of the leaders of different political parties since they have not spoken about the ordinance yet," said the sources.

It may be recalled that the European diplomatic missions had jointly written to leadership of the major three parties in December last year to ensure that the laws on transitional justice mechanisms meet international standards.

International human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also wrote to the president asking him to reject the ordinance.


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First Published: Sunday, September 2, 2012 - 23:45

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