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Pillay not pleased

Monday, April 14th, 2014
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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has expressed “grave concern” at the Nepal government tabling a bill in parliament on Wednesday which has provisions for amnesty for grave crimes committed during the conflict.

The bill lays out the provisions of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a Commission on Enforced Disappearances which will allow amnesty and pardon for perpetrators of atrocities during the war 1996-2006.

“While I welcome steps taken by the Government of Nepal to take the Transitional Justice process forward, I am extremely concerned by its new attempt to introduce amnesties for serious human rights violations,” Pillay said in the statement. “Such amnesties not only violate core principles under international law but would also weaken the foundation for a genuine and lasting peace in Nepal,”

The bill will have to be ratified by parliament even though the Supreme Court last year rejected a draft bill that was stronger than this one.

International law bars amnesty for grave violations of human rights. Pillay added: “I call on the Government to respect international law and to fully implement the decision of the Supreme Court, which clearly stated that Commissions should not be used to prevent, replace or delay criminal investigations and prosecution for serious human rights violations.”

“The people of Nepal have the right to know the truth about what happened during the internal armed conflict which affected their country, through a genuine truth process. This process should be victim centred, depoliticised and should respect the right to a remedy and accountability through criminal prosecution,” said the High Commissioner.

During the second periodic review of Nepal three weeks ago, the Human Rights Committee, which monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, also expressed its concerns at the prevailing culture of impunity for gross violations of international human rights law during the 1996-2006 conflict. The Committee specifically highlighted the lack of investigations and prosecution of perpetrators, and the denial of effective remedies to victims.

 

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