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AHRC paints dismal picture of rights scene


KATHMANDU, DEC 12 -

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has said that the failure of democratic institutions in the country had resulted in Nepal’s dismal human rights record.

In an annual report released on Monday, the Hong Kong-based regional rights watchdog said that the “failure to improve the human rights record not only underlines government negligence toward the protection of the human rights of the people it serves but more importantly also points at larger institutional failures.”

“The justice and policing systems still lack the strength, accountability and independence demanded from institutions supposed to safeguard human rights in a vibrant democracy,” the rights body said in the report.

The AHRC also pointed out Nepal’s failure at building inclusive democratic institutions that allow the participation of all. “The dissolution of the Constituent Assembly without producing a new constitution on May 28, opening a new area of political uncertainty, has once more put the human rights issues on the backburner,” reads the report.

The report also raised concerns about the bills for commissions on Truth and Reconciliation and Enforced Disappearance, both of which remain on hold in the absence of a parliament for endorsement. Taking advantage of the absence of transitional justice mechanisms, the government has been granting blanket amnesty to those accused of rights violations, including those fingered by the National Human Rights Commission, according to the AHRC. The government has granted amnesty to about 500 people accused of wartime crimes and promoted two such high ranking officials of the Nepal Police and the Nepal Army.

The report further pointed out government apathy against victims seeking redress, who were facing threats and attacks without the protection of institutional actors. “It is the responsibility of the human rights movement to focus on the twin tasks of strengthening the authority and the independence of the judiciary and developing the accountability and effectiveness of the policing system,” the report said.

 

Posted on: 2012-12-12 08:24