Nepal: Formation of Commission on Disappeared Persons Likely to Institutionalise Impunity
4 July 2007 7:00 pm
FORUM-ASIA and INSEC demands that
Government of Nepal dissolve the High-level Probe Commission on
Disappearances formed on 21 June 2007 and form new commission in line
with the June 1 verdict from the Supreme Court of Nepal.
Bangkok/Kathmandu: The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and the Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC) express deep concern over the decision taken by the Government of Nepal on 21 June 2007 to form a ‘High-level Probe Commission on Disappeared Persons’ under the chairmanship of former Supreme Court Justice Narendra Bahadur Neupane.
The establishment of such a commission, without enacting related laws and providing enough mandate to make it capable of investigating the alleged cases of disappearances, is in contradiction to the directives contained in the landmark 1 June 2007 verdict of the Supreme Court of Nepal and the domestic and international human rights commitments the country has made.
The Court directed the government to form a commission on enforced disappearances only after enacting a separate comprehensive law to govern it and suggested that the government ensure enact law in compliance with the UN Convention of Enforced Disappearance.
FORUM-ASIA and INSEC are concerned that Nepal Government’s decision for the establishment of the Commission will likely prolong and reinforce the culture of impunity that currently reigns in the country with regards to the problem of forced disappearances, enabling perpetrators to continue to avoid being brought to justice for their actions and ensuring that victims and their families are deprived of rights to justice, truth and reparation. Numbers of national and international organizations have been calling for the enactment of a law that establishes enforced and involuntary disappearance a criminal offense. Such a definition would allow an effective way to strengthening protection and promotion of human rights in Nepal and ending impunity.
We demand dissolution of the current Commission and insist on the formation of a new one after enacting a comprehensive law on enforced disappearances, in line with the Supreme Court order, rather than amend the Civil Code. We also call upon the government to take into account the new International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance while drafting a new law by holding broad consultations with civil society and other stakeholders in order to establish a credible, competent and independent commission to look into those who disappeared after arrests by the security forces or abduction by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).
Executive Director, FORUM-ASIA
Subodh Raj Pyakurel