Nepal commission must not grant amnesties for serious violations

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Navi Pillay, UN Human Rights chief

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay said Wednesday she deeply regrets the passing of an ordinance to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Nepal with power to recommend amnesties for serious human rights violations, and strongly urged the government to rectify this and other provisions which would contravene international standards.

Pillay said "Such amnesties would not only violate core principles under international law but would also weaken the foundation for a genuine and lasting peace in Nepal".

She said "An amnesty for those who committed serious human rights violations will deny the right of thousands of Nepalese to truth and justice", adding that "This will not provide a sustainable road to peace".

The Commission on Investigation of Disappeared persons, Truth and Reconciliation Ordinance was passed last week to establish a Commission to investigate human rights violations that occurred during the 1996-2006 conflict in Nepal. At least 13,000 people were killed with a further 1,300 still missing from that period. The 2006 comprehensive peace accord agreed to establish such a Commission seven years ago, but no law was passed until now. The Ordinance was announced last week as part of a package to break a long-standing political deadlock and move the country towards fresh elections.

The High Commissioner said she was "particularly disturbed that the text of the Ordinance was developed and passed in such a secretive manner, without consultations with civil society, victims, families of the victims or even the national human rights institutions".

Doon Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’28″

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