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  • European nations stress int’l standards for TRC

KATHMANDU, JAN 17 - In a strongly worded message against the culture of impunity in Nepal, European Union missions, Norway and Switzerland on Thursday said they will not support any transitional justice mechanism that fails to meet international standards.

The EU missions (Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, UK, and the EU Delegation), Norway and Switzerland released a joint statement expressing serious concern about delays in the completion of the peace process and addressing human rights issues.

They have stressed that the proposed Commissions on Truth and Reconciliation and on disappearances should not grant amnesty to serious human rights abuses committed during the Maoist conflict.

“We again make clear that granting the commissions authority to confer amnesties for serious human rights abuses would not only breach international law but would also fundamentally weaken the foundations for a lasting peace in Nepal,” the statement said.

Nepal needs independent and credible commissions that result from extensive public consultation and regard for victims’ needs to deal effectively with the legacy of the conflict, it added. “Where sufficient evidence exists, cases can and should be prosecuted in the courts independently of the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms,” the statement said.

The countries urged Nepali leaders to listen to and act upon concerns expressed in recent ‘activism’ that “reveals a deep desire for peace, democracy, respect for human rights and rule of law.”

“Whether their focus is violence against women or conflict-era human rights cases, the message is clear: that crime must not be condoned; that victims must not be ignored; and that perpetrators must not be shielded from the due process of the law,” adds the statement. It urged all Nepali stakeholders concerned to work together to fulfill commitments enshrined in the omprehensive Peace Accord and meet Nepal’s obligations under international rights and humanitarian law.

Posted on: 2013-01-18 09:02

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