UN rights watchdog slams Nepal over Maoists

Last Updated: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 23:10

Kathmandu: UN rights watchdog OHCHR and
National Human Rights Commission of Nepal on Thursday slammed the
Communist-led government for allegedly trying to withdraw
criminal acts of the Maoists during the decade-long insurgency
on political considerations.

"It is the government`s responsibility to investigate
and prosecute human rights violations that constitute serious
crimes under national and international law as well as to
provide effective remedies for those found to have suffered
abuse," said United Nations Office of High Commissioner of
Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal and National Human Rights
Commission of Nepal.

"However, instead many of these cases have been
withdrawn by the Government on the basis of political
decisions and calculations," they said in a joint statement.

They expressed serious concern over the withdrawal of
criminal cases by Nepal’s leftist coalition government on the
basis of political decisions.

Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Deputy Prime
Minister and Home Minister, has proposed withdrawal of over
300 cases involving former rebels accused of committed serious
human rights violations during the insurgency that came to an
end in 2006.

It has sparked protests from opposition parties and
national and international rights groups.

The Maoists, who joined mainstream politics after a
peace deal in 2006, won the largest number of parliamentary
seats in the April 2008 elections. The former rebels are the
key ally of the Communist-led alliance and hold top posts in
the cabinet.

The withdrawal of cases involving serious violations
of human rights or humanitarian law not only violates the
government’s legal commitments to ensure criminal
accountability, but also undermines its repeated political
promises to hold those responsible for major crimes to account
and put an end to impunity," said Jyoti Sanghera, chief of
OHCHR-Nepal.

"These withdrawals have served to shield politically
connected individuals from criminal accountability in relation
to hundreds of serious crimes," said Gauri Pradhan,
Commissioner and Spokesperson of NHRC.

Pradhan said the investigation and prosecution of
these cases "are essential to building a justice system based
on accountability and the rule of law".

PTI



First Published: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 23:10

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