NEPAL / REPUBLIC OF KOREA:Blind amnesty and systematic segregation

Document id: ALRC-COS-26-20-2014
HRC section: Item 3, General Debate
Speaker: Mr. MOON JeongHo

Oral Statement to the 26th Session of the UN Human Rights Council by the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), a non-governmental organization with general consultative status

Thank you Mr. President,

The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)expresses its deep concern about the absence of investigation into the systematic segregation regulation and policy that resulted in at least 500 deaths in a so-called ‘welfare’ facility in the Republic of Korea during the 1970s and 80s.

The Ordinance no. 10 of the Ministry of Home Affairs, in force at the time, allowed any public official to admitso-called ‘guttersnipes’ to such a facility, where they were exposed to extreme violence, such as torture, sexual assault and forced labour. This went on for nearly 12 years.However, no investigation has been conducted so far.

In 1989, the Supreme Court adjudicated that the head of one of the facilities was not criminally responsible for depriving inmates of their liberty as the regulation permitted the same. However, the ordinance itself was discriminatory and in violation of due process. Also, survivors of such facilities have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders. These facts, coupled with the lack of investigation, have led ALRC to the view that a special law needs to be adopted to investigate these facilities and their functioning as a priority and to provide medical support for the survivors.

Whereas, in Nepal, the Parliament has recently passed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Act, approved by the President on 11 May 2014. Neither is the Act compatible with the Supreme Court decision, the Interim Constitution, or the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), nor does it meet the standards of international law. Its provisions are so vague that perpetrators of crimes against humanity stand to availblind amnesty. Such amnesty cannot be permitted.

The ALRC calls on the government of Nepal to amend the Act – in particular, Sections 13, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, and 29 – so that the Act meets international standards and ensures truth, justice, and reparation for victims.

I thank you, Mr. President.

Chapter 29 of the Webcast:

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About the ALRC: The Asian Legal Resource Centre is an independent regional non-governmental organisation holding general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. It is the sister organisation of the Asian Human Rights Commission. The Hong Kong-based group seeks to strengthen and encourage positive action on legal and human rights issues at the local and national levels throughout Asia.