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"However, instead many of these cases have been withdrawn by the Government on the basis of political decisions and calculations," they said in a joint statement.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


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

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