HRW: Nepal must 'vigorously' investigate human rights abuses

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] urged [HRW press release] the Maoist-led Nepalese government Thursday to 'vigorously' investigate and prosecute those responsible for the grave human rights violations allegedly committed during the country's civil war. In a joint report [text], HRW and the Nepal-based Advocacy Forum [advocacy website] recommended that even members of the security forces must be investigated for any role in killings, enforced disappearances, and incidents of torture during the decade-long conflict. HRW argued one of the most important reforms necessary is the failure of Nepalese police to completely investigate formal First Information Reports (FIRs), stating:

The 62 cases analysed [sic] in this report show a pattern of torture and ill-treatment of detainees during interrogation at police stations and army barracks. In around one third of the cases, victims suffered beatings, assault, and humiliation before they were killed. None of these cases have been investigated by police for allegations of torture. As torture is not a criminal offence in Nepal, no FIRs have been filed for torture even though torture may have caused death. At least three women victims were raped before they were killed. In two of these cases, the charge of rape could not be included in the FIR because the limitation period for making a complaint of rape in Nepal is 35 days.
Because there is no 'specific protection of the right to life' in Nepal's Constitution and relatives of the victims cannot argue that extrajudicial killings violate their fundamental rights, the role of the courts in these human rights abuse cases is 'marginal.' AFP has more.

The decade-long Maoist guerrilla insurgency ended [JURIST report] in late 2006 when the Nepalese government signed a peace agreement [text in Nepali] that established the Nepalese Constituent Assembly. The Constituent Assembly was elected in April [JURIST report] and is dominated by members of the Communist Party of Nepal - Maoists (CPN-M) [party website]. In May, the Constituent Assembly voted to abolish the country's monarchy, giving King Gyanendera [JURIST news archive] fifteen days to abandon his royal palace. which cleared the way for Maoists to serve in government. HRW has been closely watching events in Nepal, issuing a report in July [JURIST report] that Nepali police had been arresting peaceful Tibetan protesters without cause and sexually assaulting women during arrest.


 

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