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HRC 31 - Statement - Universal Periodic Review

Human Rights Council: 31thSession

Item 6: UPR Outcomes, Nepal

16th March 2016

Oral Statement delivered by the World Organisation Against Torture(OMCT), a non-governmental organisation with general consultative status,joined by Advocacy Forum-Nepal (AF) and REDRESS

Thank youMr. President.

OMCT, Advocacy Forum-Nepal and REDRESS valueNepal’s commitment to implement a “zero-tolerance policy against torture andill-treatment in any form.” However, torture in Nepal is still widespread, andstill not made a specific crime under its criminal law.

While a bill to criminalise torture was tabledlast year in Parliament, it does not fully comply with Nepal’s internationalobligations including article 1 of the Convention against Torture. We thereforecall on the Government to carry out a transparent process of revision of theBill, and to provide a clear timeline for its adoption. We also urge Nepal toreconsider its decision to reject the recommendations to ratify OP-CAT andICPPED, both important instruments in the fight against torture and enforceddisappearance.

Mr President,

Our organisations are also deeply concerned bystate authorities’ repeated defiance of court orders in cases concerning humanrights violations, especially when the perpetrators are members of securityforces or powerful individuals, which reflects a pattern of lack of politicalwill to ensure accountability. A blatant example is the case of BalkrishnaDhungel, a political leader convicted of murder in 2004, who still remainsfree. Another is the case of Maina Sunuwar, a 15-year-old girl who was torturedand killed in Army custody ten years ago. Despite court orders for the arrest and trial of soldiers, the accusedremain at large. Against this backdrop, we regret the decision of Nepal not tosupport the recommendation to establish a much-needed independent commissionfor complaints against the security forces.

Despite the Government’s assurance within theUPR process that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission onEnforced Disappearances will comply with international standards, thetransitional justice process remains deeply flawed and has lost the confidenceof many victims, human rights activists, and international actors. We thereforeurge Nepal to dissolve the existing commissions, and to start a consultativeprocess with the aim to establish mechanisms in line with the ruling of theSupreme Court and international best practices.

Finally, we call on Nepal to cooperate fullywith UN mechanisms at this point in its transition, and to issue standinginvitations to the relevant special procedures to work constructively with theGovernment to strengthen respect for and protection of human rights.

Thank you Mr President.

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