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INSEC wants Commission on Enforced Disappearances to be set up urgently in Nepal

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nepal.jpgA year has passed but the government has yet to unveil a plan to set up a commission to investigate the case of more than 1,000 disappeared persons. The commission is a landmark decision by the Supreme Court in June last year.

Since Nepal is currently moving into a full fledge republic, the human rights community is pushing for the urgent establishment of the Commission to deal with the fate of those disappeared to promote accountability and put an end to impunity for the perpetrators, who include the State and Maoist during the decade long conflict.

INSEC wants Commission on Enforced Disappearances to be set up urgently in Nepal

(Bangkok) The Human rights community in Nepal is eagerly waiting for the establishment of the Commission on Disappeared Persons since the civil conflict officially ended in November 2006. The Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) signed by the seven political parties and the Communist Party of Nepal (M) had pledged to deal with the issue on the fate of about 1,000 persons who disappeared in the hands of the State and the Maoists during the decade-long conflict.

In a statement issued on 1 June, Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), FORUM-ASIA member based in Nepal, has urged the Nepalese government to implement a 2007 Supreme Court decision for the government to set up a Commission on Disappeared Persons. The direction was issued while the Court was delivering its verdict on the habeas corpus application of 80 cases and writ that many people were disappeared forcefully.

INSEC has documented disappearance cases of 828 persons arrested by the state while the whereabouts of 105 persons abducted by the Maoists remain unknown till date though the latter repeatedly denied any enforced disappearances from their side.

INSEC chairperson Subodh Raj Pyakurel has criticised the government for its apparent unwillingness to form a structural body to investigate the fate of all those who disappeared although it was legally bound to do so since last year. He also reminded the commitment of the political parties in the CPA to publicise the whereabouts of those who were forcefully disappeared by either sides during the conflict. This commitment is also provided by the Interim Constitution of Nepal in 2007.

Subodh added that the families of the disappeared persons, independent UN experts, Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights-Nepal and national and international organisations were concerned about the lack of clarity and delay in setting up the Commission.

β€œThe criminalisation of enforced disappearance and prosecution of the criminals is a step closer to bringing the perpetrators within a legal frame. Laws drafted in pursuant with the international standard against enforced disappearance help to attain justice by putting an end to impunity and promoting accountability,” said Subodh.

Adding that the government had completely failed to abide by the Supreme Court direction with its inactivity towards legal proceedings against the perpetrators, INSEC said that such negligence can perpetuate the culture of impunity and violation of human rights in the future.

Meanwhile, INSEC called on the government to become a state party and to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. The human rights organisation urged the Constituent Assembly to direct the government to implementation the Convention, and form the Commission to unearth the truth and the whereabouts of disappeared persons, and provide compensation to the victims and persecute the perpetrators.