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[ANNI Statement] Nepal: Rights Commission’s report exposing human rights violators a positive step towards justice

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(Bangkok/Kathmandu, 22 October 2020) ‒ A recent report[1] published by the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal (NHRCN), where it has made public the details of human rights violations committed by 286 violators in the last two decades is a step towards ensuring accountability and combating impunity in cases of human rights abuses in Nepal,  said the Asian NGO Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI), an initiative of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA).

The list, though long overdue, was published on the NHRCN’s website on 15 October 2020 and details human rights violations and their perpetrators based on the NHRCN’s progress report on the evaluation of 1,195 recommendations made by it over the last 20 years.[2]

The list includes police personnel, civil servants, army personnel and security agencies. Among them, only 30 have faced legal action, while others are yet to be charged.

Likewise, from the 1,195 recommendations made by the NHRCN to the Government of Nepal, only 163 (13.4 per cent) recommendations have fully been implemented by previous governments,[3] mostly involving only monetary compensation.

‘The report is a welcome step towards accountability on long-standing human rights abuses in Nepal, but there are glaring omissions on cases of sexual violence, especially on violence inflicted by security agencies during the conflict period in Nepal.[4] Action to address sexual violence needs to be taken very seriously as well, and ANNI urges the Commission to pursue these with equal urgency,’ said Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu, Executive Director of FORUM-ASIA.

While this public intervention from the NHRCN comes only four days before the end of the current Commission’s six-year tenure, ANNI lauds the NHRCN for compiling the report and enumerating all the pending cases from the last two decades.

This is a crucial step to not only urge the Government of Nepal to initiate the process of carefully following-up on addressing these violations and cases of impunity, but also to hold it accountable as Nepal begins its second term as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, after being reelected in October 2020.

Much remains for the new NHRCN and the Government of Nepal to do in addressing the remaining cases, and to ensure that justice is granted to the victims of these human rights abuses over the last several years.

ANNI has been advocating for the publication of periodic human rights situation reports by the NHRCN, and views the report as a positive step in ensuring that its previous recommendations to the NHRCN are being implemented.[5]

ANNI also urges the NHRCN to undergo a transparent and participatory selection and appointment process of the Commissioners to ensure that the leadership is able to continue the commendable work of its predecessor.

The new Commission should not only carry forward the recommendations of its predecessor, but to consistently work towards holding the Government accountable for its human rights record, during its tenure.

ANNI also calls for an immediate and careful investigation into all human rights violations cases, and for the initiation of actions against violators, if found guilty.

‘ANNI stands ready to continue supporting the work and mandate of the NHRCN, and remains committed to continue our engagement with the Commission in its work on the promotion and protection of human rights in Nepal,’ said Shamini.


About the Asian NGOs Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI):

The Asian NGOs Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI) was established in December 2006. It is a network of Asian non-governmental organisations and human rights defenders working on issues related to National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs). ANNI has members that are national organisations from all over Asia. ANNI currently has 33 member organisations from 21 countries or territories. The work of ANNI members focuses on strengthening the work and functioning of Asian NHRIs to better promote and protect human rights as well as to advocate for the improved compliance of Asian NHRIs with international standards, including the Paris Principles and General Observations of the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) of the Global Alliance of NHRIs (GANHRI). The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) has served as the Secretariat of ANNI since its establishment in 2006.


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For a pdf version of this statement please click here.