Cycle of impunity raised with Nepal's President and UN High Commissioner
Amnesty International has written to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights following a meeting between a delegation from the organization and the Nepalese President last week. Amnesty International has called on Government of Nepal to end impunity by establishing an independent and effective commission to resolve enforced disappearances, avoiding amnesties for key human rights violations and acceding to the Rome statue of international Criminal court. During Thursday's meeting with the Amnesty International delegation, President Dr Ram Baran Yadav said: "There is an immediate need for the country to end impunity. This need is not only to ensure justice but also to improve our image in the international arena as the culture of impunity has left a negative image of the country. "Like the very vibrant role played by civil society in the People's Movement, the time has come for organizations like Amnesty International to put together another coordinated effort to end impunity in the country," he added. Highlighting the importance of human rights campaigning, he said: "I realized the importance of campaigns run by human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch while I was held in detention." He also said that he appreciated the role played by Amnesty International and the organization's section in Nepal to improve the human rights situation in the country. The organization's letter to the UN High Commissioner urges her to raise key impunity issues with Nepal's government. Ms Navanethem Pillay arrives in Kathmandu on Wednesday for her first official visit to the country. In the letter, Irene Khan, Amnesty International's Secretary General, said that the establishment of a new government in April last year "presents a vital opportunity to address impunity for the thousands of cases of killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other human rights violations and abuses committed during the internal conflict, as well as for cases that have occurred since." Amnesty International during mission to Kathmandu in March also met with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, civil society organizations, the National Human Rights Commission, parliamentarians and the Minister for Law. Irene Khan writes that Amnesty International's section in Nepal and the organization's members around the world "will join with other national civil society groups to campaign for the Nepali authorities to take effective steps to end impunity." The letter goes on to say that current initiatives by the government of Nepal to put in place transitional justice mechanisms "leave significant gaps, notwithstanding strong political rhetoric to end impunity." The letter points out that no perpetrators of human rights abuses, whether committed by state security forces or members of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), have so far been brought to justice.