After a decade, Nepal seeks complaints on war-era crimes

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Kathmandu, March 24 (IANS) A decade after the end of civil war in Nepal in which about 13,000 people were killed, Nepal’s transitional justice bodies are all set to register complaints of the war-crime victims from April 17.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) will spend two and three months, respectively, starting from April 17, in registering the complaints.

The victims or their families would be able to file their complaints at the Local Peace Committees (LPC).

After helping to bring the decade long conflict to an end, Nepal Maoists laid down their arms in 2006 while agreeing on join the peace process.

About 14 months ago, the Nepal government had formed two transitional justice bodies that were to inquire into the war-era crimes and human rights violations and to ascertain the status of disappeared people. The bodies were also to recommend legal action against those accused of committing the atrocities.

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It took over a year for the government to endorse the process of seeking complaints from the victims and probing them.

Over 9,000 cases of human rights abuses have been documented by UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

TRC Chairman Surya Kiran Gurung told reporters that there will be an oversight mechanism for monitoring the process of lodging of complaints throughout the country to ensure that every family of victims could file their complaints.

The oversight body will have those representing the voice of the victims and the human rights activists.

After completing the process of collecting complaints, both bodies will prepare a list and probe into them gradually.

The TRC will seek to find the truth of various cases of human rights abuses, try to bring about reconciliation among the families of victims and tortures during the war era, and recommend amnesty.

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There is no official data of the number of people killed or missing furing the civil war.

Data compiled by various human rights organisations said that an estimated 16,000 deaths, 1,400 disappearances, 20,000 cases of torture and an unknown number of rapes took place during the Maoist insurgency between 1996 and 2006.

Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) had started the armed rebellion against the State in 1996 to end the feudal system in the country and to install a communist regime.

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