04/23/2014, 00.00
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Human rights activists oppose amnesty for crimes committed during the country's civil war

by Christopher Sharma
The UN and other international groups are against a proposal made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Since the end of the war (2006), no one has been investigated in connection with crimes committed during the civil war. More than 16,000 people were killed during the conflict with hundreds missing and thousands wounded and injured.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - An amnesty would be a serious violation of international law and an insult to the victims of the civil war, this according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, a view shared by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Commission of Jurists.

All of these organisation spoke out in reaction to an amnesty proposal made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was set up in 2007 to investigate abuses committed during the country's ten-year (1996-2006) civil war.

Home to Mount Everest and birthplace of Buddha, Nepal is still recovering from a bitter civil war between Maoist rebels and the government.

Launched by Maoist fighters to topple the Hindu monarchy, the conflict ended with the abolition of the monarchy in 2008 after a bloody war.

According to official estimates, more than 16,000 were killed and hundreds went missing. Thousands more were wounded and injured.

Although almost eight years have passed, no one - neither Maoist fighters nor government soldiers - has ever been investigated in connection with the crimes committed during ten years of war.

However, activists note that both sides are guilty of rapes, torture, arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial executions.

The current issue came to the fore after NGOs Advocacy Forum-Nepal and Redress filed a rape case on behalf of Purna Maya (not her real name to protect her identity) before the UN Commission for Human Rights.

This is the first case ever filed for crimes committed during the civil war. The woman was raped by four Nepali soldiers in 2004.

"Although this case concerns one victim, it highlights the experiences of hundreds, if not thousands of victims of sexual violence during the conflict in Nepal," said Mandira Sharma, head of Advocacy Forum-Nepal.

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