TRIAL keeps its grip on Nepal

Geneva, 10 February 2012
Hundreds of perpetrators of serious human rights violations in
Nepal remain free. The possibility to hold them accountable for their crimes is inexistent as the main Nepalese parties agree to grant a blanket amnesty for most crimes perpetrated by both State and Maoist forces during the armed conflict that ravaged Nepal between 1996 and 2006.

More than 5 years after the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision confirming the enforced disappearance and torture of dozens of persons by the Nepalese police and military during the decade-long conflict, impunity continues being the rule in Nepal

Such is the case for the perpetrators of the enforced disappearance of human rights defender Rajendra Dhakal and ironmonger Padam Narayan Nakarmi. Mr. Dhakal was arbitrarily deprived of his liberty and disappeared by Nepalese police forces on 8 January 1999. Mr. Nakarmi was also illegally arrested and subsequently forcibly disappeared by members of the Royal Nepal Army on 23 September 2003. Their fate until this day remains unknown.

The Supreme Court judicially confirmed Mr. Dhakal’s illegal arrest and enforced disappearance by a police team under the command of erstwhile Police Inspector K.B.R. (name omitted). It also concluded that Mr. Nakarmi succumbed to death as a result of the torture inflicted upon him by the Royal Nepal Army at the infamous Bhairabnath Battalion barracks.

Despite the findings of the Supreme Court, the numerous eyewitnesses to their arbitrary deprivation of liberty and the countless attempts by their families to locate Mr. Dhakal and Mr. Nakarmi, the national authorities have stubbornly denied their arrest and refused to reveal any information concerning their fate and whereabouts. This together with the proposed amnesty bill, clearly demonstrates the unwillingness and inability of the government of Nepal to prosecute human rights violators and adopt transitional justice mechanisms that live-up to international standards.

Reiterating its commitment to justice and accountability in Nepal, TRIAL (Swiss association against impunity) submitted the cases of Mr. Dhakal and Mr. Nakarmi’s enforced disappearance to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. TRIAL has called on the Committee to request the government of Nepal to ensure a prompt investigation into the arbitrary deprivation of liberty and subsequent enforced disappearance of Mr. Dhakal and Mr. Nakarmi, to bring the perpetrators to justice, provide their relatives with adequate compensation and measures of reparation and in the event of their death, to locate, exhume, identify and return their mortal remains to their families.  

The cases of Mr. Dhakal and Mr. Nakarmi are, sadly, not unique. Local and international human rights organizations estimated the number of enforced disappearances attributed to the security forces during the conflict at over one thousand.

In the last two years TRIAL had already submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Committee five Nepalese cases concerning some of the most heinous human rights violations such as arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearance dating back to the civil war.

Click here to read more about Mr. Dhakal’s case  

Click here to read more about Mr. Nakarmi’s case  

[TRIAL Statement on Feb 10, 2012]

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