International rights groups slam 9-pt dealInternational human rights groups have condemned a deal between the ruling parties—the CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist)—to withdraw war-era cases from court and grant amnesty to those involved in serious human rights abuses.
International human rights groups have condemned a deal between the ruling parties—the CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist)—to withdraw war-era cases from court and grant amnesty to those involved in serious human rights abuses.
“A new agreement between the ruling parties threatens to entrench impunity for those who planned and carried out killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and other crimes in Nepal’s civil war, just as the country’s long delayed transitional justice process is finally about to get under way,” the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Human Rights Watch (HRW), and Amnesty International said in a joint statement on Friday. “Nepal’s leading political parties should not bargain away justice for victims of serious human rights abuses as part of an agreement to form a new coalition government.”
Against the backdrop of a dramatic political development, Prime Minister and UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on May 5 signed a nine-point deal in a bid to save the coalition from falling apart, which looked quite inevitable till the previous day.
Provision 7 [of the nine-point deal], which directs the authorities to withdraw all wartime cases before the courts and to provide amnesty to alleged perpetrators, is particularly problematic, said the rights group.
“This political deal between the ruling parties is extremely damaging to the credibility of an already deeply politicised and flawed transitional justice process in the eyes of Nepal’s victims,” said Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific director at the ICJ. “Moreover, it flies in the face of Nepal’s international human rights obligations and the rulings of its own Supreme Court by trying to wash away the crimes of the conflict by attempting to coopt pending criminal cases and provide blanket amnesty to alleged perpetrators,” Zarifi added. Stating that Nepal has an obligation under international law to investigate and, where sufficient evidence exists, prosecute crimes under international law, including torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearance, extrajudicial executions, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, the rights bodies have called on the Nepal government to take immediate steps to safeguard victims’ rights to truth, justice and reparation through a credible transitional justice process that is free of any political interference.
Conflict victims and rights activists too have objected to the nine-point deal reached between the ruling parties.
The Supreme Court on Friday quashed a writ petition that demanded nullification of the nine-point deal signed between the CPN-UMl and UCPN (Maoist) on May 5. A single bench of Acting Chief Justice Sushila Karki quashed the petition, saying the agreement was a political document which did not need judicial intervention.