Violence takes centre stage in HRCCommending Nepal’s adoption of a majority of the recommendations made during the 23rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session last November, the National Human Rights Commission has urged the government to investigate into rights violations during the Tarai unrest in keeping with its commitment to the UN Human Rights Council of safeguarding human rights.
Commending Nepal’s adoption of a majority of the recommendations made during the 23rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session last November, the National Human Rights Commission has urged the government to investigate into rights violations during the Tarai unrest in keeping with its commitment to the UN Human Rights Council of safeguarding human rights.
Nepal accepted 152 of the total 195 recommendations, while noting 43 recommendations during the 31st Session of Human Rights Council (HRC) on Wednesday in Geneva. Nepal noted the recommendations, mostly to ratify new conventions, stating that it was building requisite infrastructure before joining any international instrument.
The national rights watchdog had suggested the government adopt all the recommendations, particularly the ratification of the Rome Statute, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, and Enforced Disappearances.
These are the conventions related to the transitional justice process to avoid recurrence of war crimes and to safeguard Nepali migrant workers’ rights abroad.
Speaking at the Wednesday session in Geneva, NHRC Spokesperson Mohna Ansari said that Nepal government should accept recommendations for investigation into incidents of excessive use of force in the Tarai incidents. “I would like to re-emphasise the acceptance of recommendations for proper investigation and prosecution on excessive use of force,” said Ansari.
The NHRC field report has concluded that security forces used excessive force against the Madhesi protesters, while the demonstrators retaliated with home-made weapons. Over 50 protesters and 11 security personnel lost lives during the five-month-long Madhes agitation.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in his annual speech to the HRC last week, urged the Nepal government to conduct a full and independent investigation into the Tarai violence. He also called for a credible transitional justice process on par with the international standard.
However, the government defended that Nepal has already addressed the issues of Madhes, citizenship and transitional justice. “The constitutional provisions on acquisition of citizenship are based on the principle of equality and non-discrimination,” said Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi in Geneva.
Nepal said that the constitution had been amended to meet the aspirations of the Madhesi people, endorsed “separate regulations” for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons.
However, India, which criticised Nepal during the UPR session, assured Nepal help for the transitional justice process. “India will continue to extend all support and assistance to Nepal, for peace, stability and socio-economic development of the country,” Indian Ministry of External Affairs stated on Thursday.