Bill to amend transitional justice act tabled in ParliamentConflict victims and rights activists have expressed concerns about some of the provisions and demanded a review.
Amid widespread criticism, the bill on amendment to Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act 2014 was presented in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The bill that was registered in the parliament on July 15 was pending following the controversy.
It was presented for deliberations after the ruling parties agreed to make some revisions to it.
“The bill is prepared with a target to end the transitional justice keeping the victims at the centre,” said Minister for Law and Justice Govinda Sharma Bandi while presenting the bill. “Let us endorse the bill from the ongoing session.”
Conflict victims, human rights defenders and national and international human rights organisations have been objecting to several provisions in the bill.
They have demanded a revision of the list of serious human rights violations and called for
a provision to appeal the decision of the Special Court, to be formed to decide on the cases from the insurgency, at the Supreme Court, and removing the statute of limitations in such cases.
The bill says “cruel murder” or murder after torture, rape, enforced disappearances and inhumane or cruel torture committed against unarmed or ordinary people during the insurgency are serious human rights violations and non-amnestiable. It, however, doesn’t list war crimes and crimes against humanity under serious human rights violations. The bill also doesn’t have any provision to address the concerns of former minor combatants.
The bill has opened the door for amnesty for murder by saying only “cruel murder” will be non-amnestiable, thus providing a loophole to define all murders as non-cruel and grant amnesty for the murders, say victims.