Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Deprived of basic rights and due process, a growing number of Nepalese citizens who are victims of violence and abuse are turning to the United Nations Committee on Human Rights - rather than the ordinary courts - to obtain justice. The plaintiffs accuse the State of having violated their civil and political rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) signed by Kathmandu. Ministerial and government sources in the capital, told AsiaNews that the number of victims who turn to the independent UN "increases every year," with an exponential growth from 2009. this because of the failure of the national legal system and its inability to respond to complaints made so far.
Until 2009, government officials report, only three people applied to the Committee for Human Rights, and now, the number "has reached 21" and the cases are increasingly referenced to torture, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings which occurred particularly during the years of civil war that led to the birth of the Federal Republic. Among the causes followed by the United Nations are the deaths of high profile activists and members of student organizations including Subhadra Chaulgain, Chakra Bahadur Katuwal, Gyanendra Tripathi and Sarita Tharu.
According to human rights activist Herd Sharma, who has fought a long time to shed light on the disappearance of Gyanendra Tripathi bringing the matter before the Commission, in some cases the same national bodies and organizations for justice "that refuse to receive the lodged complaint and initiate an investigation. " And too many times, he adds, criminals or suspects were able to move freely without even the shadow of an investigation against them. "This internal situation - said Sharma - has sowed frustration among the victims and indelibly stained the country's image in front of the international community."
Complicating the current framework of the judicial system, is also the end of the mandate given to the Constituent Assembly and it is highly unlikely that the government will create a transitional system that can resolve the outstanding issues. Even today there are over 900 cases of people who disappeared during the conflict, and their situation is still unknown. Relatives demand justice and appeal to the government for thorough investigations, but without concrete results.
Political instability, economic crisis and the absence of a written constitution have led to a revival of the Hindu monarchy, which fell in 2007 after 11 years of civil war and thousands of deaths. In recent months, the former monarch Gyanendra has organized rallies throughout Nepal offering to return to lead the country. This worries supporters of secular democracy who fear a coup by former kings and Hindu parties. In recent weeks, students linked to the conservative parties have attacked dozens of foreign schools in Kathmandu and in other areas, forcing the government to launch a movement to change the names of institutes into the Nepali language and reduce fees. To date, the only written document ensuring the secular nature of the state is the interim constitution of 2008.