NEPAL: Peace without Truth & Justice, Reconciliation without Accountability is not Acceptable

A Joint Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission, the Advocacy Forum (AF), Amnesty International, Accountability Watch Centre, Conflict Victims’ Common Platform (CVCP), Committee for Social Justice, INSEC, Inhured International, Peoples’ Voice, Voices of Women Media, NEFAD, DFHRI, HURFON and OHR, on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

The Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappearance Persons (CIEDP) which was formed after 9 years of Peace Agreement, to investigate the disappearance cases from the 10 years long armed conflict, has received altogether 3093 complaints. As previous years, this year too, the family members of the disappeared persons are commemorating the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance across Nepal by demanding the right to know the truth and make public whereabouts of those disappeared relatives. As the CIEDP could do nothing within its 2 years’ tenure except collecting complaints, the mandate was extended for another year, however more than two and half years has been spent for nothing in terms of fair investigation and supporting families for searching the truth, justice and reparation.

It has come to know that the CIEDP has formed 3 members investigation committees within the commission. And the committee has contacted to the family members living in Kathmandu and surroundings for interview and filling anti-mortem data form and ‘reparation’ form but the families were not assured that their questions/demands would be addressed. Likewise, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has received more than 60,000 cases. The victims are not assured that the commissions would investigate their cases in a fair way, establish truth and provide them justice in time. However, the victims have complained that the commissions are interviewing them and preparing documents for formality rather than working for truth seeking. The investigation committee lacks competency, expertise and the psychosocial counselors.

The CIEDP has only 5 months tenure left according to the current legal mandate; and it has not been able to investigate a single case of enforced disappearance and has not made its findings public. There are no visible signs that the investigations on whereabouts of the disappeared persons, naming the perpetrators, exhumations, DNA testing and preparing a comprehensive reparation needs for the families would be conducted by the commission within this remaining period. The slim chances to get to know the truth and justice for the enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, sexual violence and rape, internal displacement, mutilation, disabled victims and their family members is getting worse. The victims’ demand that the serious human rights violation cases should not be referred for forced reconciliation and amnesty. The Supreme Court’s order to amend law regarding amnesty has not been implemented yet, and there is no strong political will to resolve the cases.

So, commemorating the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, we, the concerned organizations, on behalf of families of the disappeared, would like to demand following before the government of Nepal:

• Amend transitional justice law according to the Supreme Court’s verdicts,

• Criminalize enforced disappearance by promulgating law,

• Ratify International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance,

• Make public the ongoing works and progress of CIEDP,

• Make public the whereabouts of the persons disappeared during the armed conflict,

• Appoint Experts and Psychosocial Counselors to bring effective results on the investigation of the CIEDP,

• Ensure meaningful participation of Family Associations and Conflict Victims Common Platform, and Coordinate with National Human Rights Commission and other concerned agencies immediately,

• Ensure justice procedures, not-repetition and comprehensive reparation measures to support the victims’ family and create a conducive environment for a sustained peace.