Geneva, 3 November 2016. Advocacy Forum-Nepal (AFN),the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), REDRESS and the World Organisationagainst Torture (OMCT) made a stakeholder submission to the Universal PeriodicReview of Nepal taking place on 4 November 2015. The submission details thecontinued impunity for serious human rights violations committed during thearmed conflict and highlights the ongoing and systematic practice of torture indetention.
AlthoughNepal has been facing various challenges, justice cannot be sacrificed. We aredeeply concerned about the government’s continuous refusal to address impunityand the denial of justice for victims of human rights violations during armedconflicts.
From 1996 to2006, Nepal was gripped by an internal armed conflict between security forcesand the Communist Party of Nepal, with both sides being responsible for serioushuman rights violations. Despite promises made during the last UPR review in2011 to investigate and prosecute those crimes, Nepal has failed to takeeffective actions. No members of the military, the police, the Armed Police Forceor Maoist groups have been brought to justice. Furthermore, those accused ofserious human rights violations are promoted to higher government position. Legislationpassed last year to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and EnforcedDisappearances Commission circumvents justice processes and paves the way forfurther impunity.
At the sametime, victims face numerous obstacles when seeking justice. The police havesystematically refused to register complaints, which is indispensible for theprosecution of any crime. In addition, the previous Attorney General, the NepalArmy and the Communist Party of Nepal have interfered with policeinvestigations by threatening key witnesses or by misusing the power towithdraw charges.
The entrenchedimpunity for past crimes committed allows for ongoing human rights violationsin the country. The stakeholder submission details Nepal’s systemic practice oftorture in detention and the lack of implementation of recommendations by theCommittee against Torture. Nepal has neither passed legislation thatcriminalizes torture, nor has it put a system in place that allows for meaningfulredress or adequate compensation for torture victims. Torture and ill-treatmentfor the purpose of obtaining confessions is still practiced as a method ofcriminal investigation.
The organisationscall on the international community to recommend Nepal to:
- amendthe legislation establishing transitional justice mechanisms to expresslyprohibit amnesty for crimes under international law and in line with SupremeCourt decisions;
- establisha special unit of appropriately trained police and prosecutors to investigateand prosecute serious human violations committed in Nepal;
- criminalisetorture and other forms of ill-treatment, enforced disappearance, crimesagainst humanity and war crimes;
- combatimpunity by bringing to justice any individual alleged to be responsible fortorture and other serious human rights abuses committed during the armedconflict and since;
- takeeffective measures to prevent interference with police investigations and tointroduce severe penalties for any such interference;
- ratifythe Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, establish an effectiveNational Preventive Mechanism, and provide for full redress to victims oftorture in compliance with the Convention against Torture.
The universalperiodic review of Nepal will take place in Geneva on Wednesday, 4 November2015 at 2:30 pm (GMT+1). It can be followed live at http://webtv.un.org. NGOs will also be reporting from Geneva using Twitter- follow #NepalUPR.
Theorganistions’ submission to the UPR is available here: www.omct.org/files/2015/03/23060/upr_nepal_22march2015.pdf.
For more information, please contact:
- AFN: Dr. Trilochan Upreti (ExecutiveDirector) on +977 9841351286 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- AHRC: Prakash Mohara (Programme Coordinator –Nepal Desk) at email@example.com
- REDRESS: Eva Sanchis (Communications Officer) on +44(0)20 7793 177 or firstname.lastname@example.org - OMCT: Nicole Bürli (HumanRights Advisor) on +41 (0)22 809 49 26 or email@example.com