ICJ reminds Nepal of commitment to justice for conflict victimsAs Nepal prepares to mark the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the International Commission of Jurists, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to promotion of rule of law,
As Nepal prepares to mark the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the International Commission of Jurists, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to promotion of rule of law, has urged Nepal’s authorities to renew their commitment to “truth, justice and reparation for victims of the conflict”.
The CPA was signed between the government of Nepal and then-Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) on 21 November 2006, ending a decade-old insurgency.
“The hope and promise to conflict victims towards fulfilment of their rights to truth, justice and reparation that came with the signing of the CPA and the end of the conflict ten years ago have yet to be realised,” ICJ Asia director Sam Zarifi said in a statement on Saturday.
“Over the last ten years, various governments from all the different parties have blocked or hindered the transitional justice process, ignoring rulings by the Supreme Court that demanded compliance with international law and standards.”
The ICJ also said the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons, established in February last year have thus far “failed to carry out their respective mandates in a credible manner through a transparent, victim-centric consultative process”.
It expressed its concern that only three months remained of the commissions’ two-year mandate while no investigation into specific cases had begun.
“The TRC Act is a deeply flawed enabling statute as the Supreme Court itself in its February 2015 ruling struck down key provisions as unconstitutional and in contravention of Nepal’s international human rights obligations,” the ICJ statement read. “To date, the Nepal authorities have taken no action to implement the court’s judgment and rectify the flawed process.”
ICJ criticised the lack of transparency surrounding the process to amend the TRC Act. It also demanded transparency on the process to set up a special court to try conflict-era crimes, while emphasising on the need to ensure accountability towards putting an end to impunity.
“The Nepal government has an opportunity on the occasion of the 10 anniversary of the CPA to alleviate victims’ severe distrust of the process by reaffirming its stated commitment to victims’ rights through a credible, transparent and victim-centred transitional justice process,” Zarifi said.