The Kathmandu Post, 11 May 2018
Following demands from the victims for honouring their consent before proceeding with amendment to the transitional justice law, the government, together with the Office of the Attorney General, has started consultations.
Minister for Law and Justice Sher Bahadur Tamang, Attorney General Agni Kharel and officials from the National Human Rights Commission held a discussion with the victims organised under the Conflict Victims Common Platform. The victims asked the authorities to treat their concerns with priority.
The OAG is taking a lead in finalising the amendment draft for the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act complying with the Supreme Court
verdict and the international standard on transitional justice.
Conflict victims have demanded that the amendment Act should clearly define grave crimes and not allow amnesty for perpetrators of unlawful killing, rape, enforced disappearances and torture as directed by the apex court.
Complying with the SC’s order, they also asked Minister Tamang and AG Kharel to incorporate the provisions of removing the statute of limitation for reporting incidents of sexual assault and rape.
“We sought the government’s sincere effort to take the TJ process ahead in providing justice for the victims,” said a participant, who did not want to be named. The ministry and the AG’s Office urged privacy of the discussion before a concrete decision is reached. The participant said Tamang and Kharel have assured them of working with their consent.
Criminalisation of torture and enforced disappearance, formation of a special court and consultations before determining the working procedure and jurisdiction of the court are other concerns of the victims. Their concern is that no cases sub judice in court should be transferred to the quasi-judicial transitional justice bodies and that this has to be clearly defined in the amendment.
Ensuring reparation as the right of victims and handing back property seized during the Maoist insurgency need to be clearly defined in the amendment, the victims demanded. Their concerns include reconciliation only with prior consent of victims and protection of the victims and witnesses.
They also pressed for addressing concerns of minor soldiers and those displaced from jobs and protection of documents through changes in the Act.