NEPAL: Impunity and political bickering holds the people at ransom 

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission on the occasion of the Human Rights Day 2010

The Constituent Assembly of Nepal is not able to move any step forward despite the passing of two years and seven months since it first resolved to draft a new constitution for the country. The deadline fixed for the Constituent Assembly expired on 28 May 2010. Deepening bickering and appalling irresponsibility among the political parties in the country is solely responsible for this impasse. The people of Nepal have become increasingly desperate and can find no solution to this shameful and stagnated political deadlock. The people’s faith in finding a solution to most of their legitimate grievances arising out of past and continuing human rights violations has rapidly eroded along with their dream of having a functioning democratic republic for which they have sacrificed lives and freedoms in the past.

Despite repeated promises, human rights violations committed before 2008 are yet to be investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted. Reports made by government commissions are yet to be made public and it is feared that none of these reports will result in any credible actions in the near future. On the contrary, despite the country resolving to become a federal democratic republic, human rights violations committed by the state security agencies, the police and other politically affiliated units continue even today.

The country neither has adequate number of formal and functioning justice institutions nor are there any serious discussions to constitute them. Even today, the day-to-day functioning of the police, prosecution and the judiciary and other essential service-providing institutions do not exist in Nepal beyond Kathmandu.

The civil war and long periods of neglect has resulted in pushing an alarmingly high number of the population to the verge of extinction. Kathmandu today has reduced to a capital city that portrays the appalling living conditions in Nepal. The city hardly has the infrastructure to function, including basic facilities like water and electricity to meet the requirement of the city’s population.

Today, Nepal has an alarmingly high number of persons living in acute poverty. Their appalling living conditions and the daily brutal struggle for existence only have started surfacing now, since earlier these remote places within Nepal were inaccessible due to the conflict. The newly possible access to remote areas also has helped unearthing gross human rights violations, including the possibility of hidden mass graves within rural Nepal. There are no guarantees however that there would be any investigation into these crimes against humanity in the near future. This condition is increasingly discouraging the people to come out with true stories of past human rights violations, an essential requirement for healing the deep wounds the civil war has caused to thousands of people in the country.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has analysed the human rights situation of Nepal in its 2010 Nepal Human Rights Report entitled: ‘Nepal: The State of Human Rights in 2010’ which is available here:

The AHRC expects that in the coming year, the government will take adequate steps to ensure that the unacceptable status quo is changed. However, this not only requires the resolve of the ordinary people of Nepal, but also of its neighbours and above all that of the international community that still entertains concern for the people of Nepal.

Document Type : Statement
Document ID : AHRC-STM-253-2010
Countries : Nepal,