Govt’s disregard for court order upsets victims of conflictConflict victims have expressed concerns over the government’s unwillingness to implement the Supreme Court verdict to annul amnesty provision in the transitional justice Act.
Conflict victims have expressed concerns over the government’s unwillingness to implement the Supreme Court verdict to annul amnesty provision in the transitional justice Act.
During the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session in Geneva last week, Nepal had asked for some time to come up with its position on the recommendation of some UN member states to implement the court’s order.
On February 26, the apex court had annulled the amnesty provision in the Act, saying that it was against the established principles of justice, constitutional provision, international law and the court’s earlier verdicts.
“There is a big credibility and implementation questions,” said Ram Bhandari, general secretary of the Conflict Victims Common Platform. “As a party to International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the government has not implemented UN Human Rights Council’s recommendations, as well as previously accepted points during the UPR session.”
Nepal accepted 148 of 196 recommendations made by the UN member states during the UPR session. Nepal rejected 18 recommendations while putting 30 recommendations under consideration.
The issue of transitional justice was raised in the previous session in 2011 as well. However, the government failed to address the issues. Germany, UK, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and Belgium, among others, had recommended Nepal to comply with the court’s order as well as with the international laws and practices. For the first time, India raised the issue of transitional justice with focus on human rights violation and credible transitional process. “It has a greater meaning that may impact on longer term,” said Bhandari. “We do keep questioning the government’s negligence and demand to respect rule of law and human rights principles in action.”
The government said the time was sought to further study the issue. According to officials, Nepal declared its position on recommendation based on the existing laws, policies and measures undertaken by the country for protection of human rights.
“We have some bills in the Parliament while some of the issues are already taken care of,” said Ramesh Dhakal, joint secretary of Law and Human Right Division at the Office of the Prime Minister, who had attended the UPR session.
According to him, the rejected recommendations were mostly related to the ratification of international treaties. Nepal has already ratified 24 international human rights treaties, but never internalised them in the national system. “Now, we want to address the gap and make our policy and legal regime more compatible with international human rights framework first,” said Dhakal.