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Nepal’s conflict victims express concern over TRC new appointments

KATHMANDU: A group of conflict victims and human rights activists in Nepal have expressed their concerns over the government’s ongoing appointment process of commissioners and members at Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP).
Organising a press meet on Thursday here, the conflict victims and rights activists accused the government of going against the Supreme Court verdict by initiating the appointment process without meaningful consultation with the victims.
The victims demanded amendment to the TRC act as per the verdict of the Supreme Court (SC) prior to appointing officials in both the commissions.
Speaking at the press meet, Suman Adhikari, one of the victims, said if the government wanted to go alone without consulting with the victim groups, the commissions would fail to produce the desired results.
In 2015, an SC verdict stated that the conflict era cases would be investigated by the TRC, but in case the TRC decided that the case must be filed in the courts then the case would be recommended directly to the Attorney General and not through the Ministry of Law, as cited in the Act.
Likewise, the SC verdict also included the requirement of consent of the victims for both reconciliation and amnesty, and the TRC has no right to see and investigate into the cases which have already been pending in the court or are sub-judice.
Adhikari said that the ‘rulers’ had tried to coerce conflict victims into accepting a transitional justice process designed largely to protect those responsible for abuse.
The government now is in process to appoint new commissioners and members after the term of both commissioners had expired. Recently, the Cabinet decided to extend the terms of the two transitional justice bodies by at least one year, but not of the officials.
In four years’ duration, 58,052 complaints were filed at the TRC and 3197 at the CIEDP. The TRC could do nothing besides receiving the complaints.
The CIEDP received information about disappeared persons through their family members.

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