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NEPAL: TRC Act breaches international law, Court decisions

For Immediate Release
AHRC-STM-109-2014
June 3, 2014
A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

NEPAL: TRC Act breaches international law, Court decisions

The parliament passed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Act on 25 April 2014, and the President approved it on 11 May 2014. This promulgation, however, suffers from a slight problem.

The TRC law violates the 2 January 2014 Supreme Court decision, the Interim Constitution of Nepal, and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of Nepal. As if that weren’t enough, the law also fails to meet international legal standards.

The law is flawed. It contains vague language, which does not appear to reject amnesty for serious human rights violations committed during the period of armed insurgency. It leaves open the possibility for perpetrators to avail amnesty for serious crimes, including murder, abduction, rape and sexual violence, forced evictions, and mental and physical torture.

The current Act undermines the judiciary; it raises doubt about the government’s respect for the rule of law in Nepal. Furthermore, Nepal’s conflict victims, as well as national civil society and the international community, have rejected the law; victims of serious human rights abuse, will be stripped of their chance of getting redress due to this law.

The international community should not support such Act. This would be in line with the established UN policy not to condone or encourage peace processes that provide amnesty for crimes under international law and gross human rights violations.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), together with the Advocacy Forum, call on the international community, the donor community, and governments to join victims of human rights abuse and Nepali human rights defenders – who have been struggling in making justice accessible to all – in their demand for amending the Act to ensure truth, justice, and reparations in Nepal.

ENDS

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