HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Just as the government recommended four ordinances, including one on Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission on the Inquiry of the Disappeared, to the President today, rights activities decried the move, saying the government was aiming at granting blanket amnesty to perpetrators.
“Firstly, trying to merge TRC and CID, which were envisioned separately so as to ease delivery of transitional justice, is questionable. Secondly, the move is unilateral on the part of the government and its motive is doubtful,” said Charan Prasai, Chairman of Joint Forum for Human Rights. “The government, it seems, is trying to eschew responsibility of providing justice to the victims. The ordinance bid squarely means the government wants to grant blanket amnesty to the perpetrators.”
Unimpeachable sources at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers told this daily that the ordinance has removed the list of non-pardonable crimes, to get enough leverage to grant amnesty to all the accused of human rights violations.
The ordinance, added the source, does not make the mandatory provision of seeking consent from victims before granting amnesty to perpetrators.
The bill on TRC and CID, which continued to gather dust in Parliament until it was dissolved on May 27 along with the Constituent Assembly, had the provision that ‘it is mandatory to get consent from victims before pardoning the perpetrators and that those involved in crimes like rape, disappearance, murder and abduction should not be granted amnesty’.
“The provisions (in the ordinance) are not friendly to victims. Instead, it intends to protect perpetrators,” said human rights lawyer Govinda Sharma Bandi said. “The rights bodies and victims will not accept the government move. It is likely that even the international community will intervene saying it hugely lacks commitment towards human rights.”
Spokesman for National Human Rights Commission, Gauri Pradhan, said the national rights body was ‘very much’ concerned about the government move. “The prime minister did not even respond to the concerns raised by us,” said Pradhan. “We will see whether the ordinance respects the basic principles of human rights and then we will act accordingly,” said Pradhan.