2 October, 2016, Kathmandu

The human rights champions expressed serious concerns over the Draft TRC Act Amendment Bill-2014. The Government of Nepal is likely to table the Bill at the Parliament. At an event jointly convened by JuRI-Nepal, Conflict Victims Common Platform, Accountability Watch Committee, Democratic Freedoms and Human Rights Institute, ICTJ and ICJ, human rights defenders called on the government and the Parliamentarians to ensuring not to grant blanket amnesty on the case of crime against humanity and repeal clauses that promote amnesty. It was organized to find flaws of the existing Bill and explore the areas to enact it in line with international human rights standards.

The chairperson of JuRI-Nepal advocate Raju Prasad Chapagai delivered a presentation on the proposed amendments so as to facilitate the constructive discussion. The key amendments proposed by Chapagai related to the definition of gross human rights violations, applicability of amnesty, the relationship between transitional justice and regular courts, statute of limitation and prosecutorial power. The key suggestions put forth by the participants included impressibility of amnesty for gross violations, incorporation of provisions to mainstream gender perspective in the transitional justice process, creation of special courts within the boundary of independence of judiciary among others.

In respond to the amendments proposed by rights defenders, the Attorney General Raman Shrestha assured that the amendment will exclude the gross human rights violations from the scope of the amnesty. He further stated that while considering the international legal standards, the Government should take national context into account. Prof. Gita Sangraula Pathak, advocate Dinamani Pokhrel, advocate Dinesh Tripathi and Chairperson of CVCP, Suman Adhikari also offered their comments on the Bill.

In order to follow it up, the organizers will soon finalize the draft Civil Society submission taking the suggestions into account. Wrapping it up, chair of the event, leading rights defender Charan Prasai, who also heads the AWC, emphasized the need of amendment in keeping with the Supreme Court decisions and international human rights laws governing transitional justice process.