Perpetrators of enforced disappearance shall be brought to book: Minister Gyawali

Kathmandu, May 27: Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has said the perpetrators forcefully disappearing people would be punished.

Inaugurating the workshop organized by Informal Service Centre (INSEC)and Advocacy Forum on ‘Forced Disappearance in Asia: Prevailing Laws, Challenges and Resolutions’ here today, Minister Gyawali reiterated that stringent legal actions would be taken against such perpetrators.

Foreign Minister, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, delivers an inaugural speech at the workshop organized by Informal Service Centre (INSEC)and Advocacy Forum on ‘Forced Disappearance in Asia: Prevailing Laws, Challenges and Resolutions’ in Lalitpur, May 27, 2019.

Minister Gyawali said, “Those perpetrators forcefully disappearing others would be booked legally. The constitution of Nepal stipulates that no person shall be detained in custody without informing him or her of the ground of his or her arrest. Furthermore, any persons who is arrested shall have the right to consult a legal practitioner of his or her choice from the item of such arrest and to be defended by such legal practitioner. And the arrested ones should be produced before the adjudicating authority within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest.”

Minister Gyawali shared that more than 25,000 complaints were registered in the Commission for Investigation of the Enforced Disappearance Persons (CIDEP) to look into the cases of those forcefully disappeared during the 10-year long insurgency in the country.

The Minister shared, “The Recommendation Committee formed to select a new office-bearers for the CIDEP is working while we are waiting for the hearings from the Supreme Court for amendment of international treaties and conventions to amend the Act of the Commission.”

He said that the government was committed to recommend the victims or families of victims for reparation and penalty for the perpetrator after the Commission examines the case and ascertains the victims and perpetrators.

On the occasion, United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearance Vice-Chairperson Rainer Huhle said that Nepal could leverage on being signatory to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance rather than harboring the great sense of fear and responsibility in being a signatory country.

He said that there was no alternative for the Nepal to signing the Convention as it would support in delivering justice to the victims in Nepal.

Similarly, INSEC’s Chairperson Dr Indira Shrestha said that the cases of enforced disappearance was on the rise in Asia in the last two decades due to lack of rule of law, growing impunity, poverty, social injustice, war, terrorism among others.

She said that the INSEC’s archive recorded as many as 932 cases of enforced disappearance during the insurgency while CIEDP recorded as many as 25,000 such cases.

The workshop sees 20 participants from 12 countries, including representatives from the government and non-governmental agencies who will deliberate on the legal provisions on various countries on the cases of enforced disappearance.

The event is believed to be fruitful in soliciting suggestions from the stakeholders in the context of searching those forcefully disappeared in Asian countries.

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