Nepal top court rejects amnesty legislation

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Nepal rejected legislation on Saturday that proposed amnesty for those responsible for serious rights abuses during the country's civil war. A Maoist-led government proposed [Enca report] the legislation last year as part of a planned Truth and Reconciliation Commission [text, PDF] aimed at healing the wounds from the civil war. Justices Kalyan Shrestha, Girish Chandra Lal and Sushila Karki [official websites] said the government must amend [Nepal Republica report] the amnesty provisions in Section 25 and 29 to make the Truth and Reconciliation Commission legislation compatible with international standards. The court [official website, in Nepali] ruled that the ordinance fails to guarantee that there will be no blanket amnesty for perpetrators of serious human rights violations. In April 2013, Justice Karki stayed the implementation of the ordinance ruling that it contradicted Nepal's Interim Constitution [text, PDF] formed in 2007.

In March UN High Commissioner of Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] called for Nepal to withdraw [JURIST report] the power to grant amnesty for human rights violations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission ordinance. In January of last year the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) [official website] called on the Nepal government to cooperate with an investigation [JURIST report] into allegations leveled against Nepal Army Colonel Kumar Lama who is charged with two counts of torture during Nepal's civil war. In October 2012 the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] released a report [text, PDF] urging justice for victims of international law violations [JURIST report] that occurred during Nepal's civil war. In April 2012 Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] and the ICJ urged Nepal to reject blanket amnesty [JURIST report] for crimes committed during the countries civil war. In April 2011 Kyung-Wha Kang [official profile], the UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemned [JURIST report] Nepal for its reluctance to prosecute war crimes and for its lack of progress on women's rights. OHCHR and HRW[JURIST reports] have both appealed to the Nepalese government to investigate human rights violations committed during the civil war.

 

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