News Bulletin: Remote Advocacy Produces A Local Breakthrough for Conflict Survivors in Nepal

Advocacy Project published a news bulletin on Remote Advocacy by the Conflict Survivors in Nepal.

“Justice goes local in Nepal: Families of the disappeared are going back to their villages to search for the truth and explain their horrific loss. Read about Ram’s big breakthrough in Marsyangdi on the trail of his father, a former teacher who disappeared in 2001.”

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New Article:बेपत्ता परिवारको अदृश्य पीडा

Ram Bhandari, founder of NEFAD published an article in Naya Patrika.

बिपिन तिमी कहाँ छौ ? 

मलाई सम्झना छ, बिपिन युवा विद्यार्थीमाझ प्रिय र जनयुद्धको चहकिलो प्रकाश थियो । गणतन्त्रको सपना बोकेको एउटा युवा बीचबाटोमै बेपत्ता हुनुप¥यो । तिनकै सपनाको जगमा स्थापित गणतन्त्र तिनै सपनाको तेजोबोध गर्दै भ्रष्टीकरणमा लम्कँदो छ । 

Read the full article here:बेपत्ता परिवारको अदृश्य पीडा

New Article: Nepal: the long road to justice

Ram Bhandari, founder of NEFAD Nepal published an opinion on southasia.com.au

After a violent war, society needs to find a way of laying past to rest so that it can build a common vision for the future. If the past is not addressed properly then it will be difficult for people to trust institutions of the State. The truth, economic support and materialization as a part of public recognition are priorities of the victims to be achieved through the processes, majority victims seek social justice rather than legal ones. 

Read the full Article here: Nepal: the long road to justice

New Article(Arabic): A flawed transitional justice process: perspectives of victims and survivors in Nepal

Ram Bhandari, founder of NEFAD Nepal published an article on the Legal Agenda.com

Victims and their families want to comfortably pursue their individual and family lives with full dignity and respect in their community. The main challenges common to them are economic and related to their livelihoods today. However, there are a variety of needs and priorities, each according to its situation, geographical scope, and the nature of the injustice attached to it. The needs differ according to each group, such as youth, the elderly, the wounded, the handicapped, victims of sexual violence and women – especially the missing wives or widows.

Read the full Article here:A flawed transitional justice process: perspectives of victims and survivors in Nepal

An Open Letter to the Chief of Nepal Army

Ram Kumar Bhandari, founder of NEFAD Nepal wrote an Open Letter to the Chief of Nepal Army.

If addressing heinous crimes such as rape, murder, torture, and the disappearance of citizens entails prosecuting those involved in such crimes, discharging them from service, and assisting the process of investigation, this is what you should start during your tenure. This would earn you praise not only from the victims but from all Nepalis

Read the full Letter here:An Open Letter to the Chief of Nepal Army

New Article: Waiting for justice

Ram Bhandari, founder of NEFAD published an article in My Republica.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) are dysfunctional. If new appointments are made without transparent process, these bodies will once again become the politically controlled puppets. In addition, there is an urgent need to address impunity in the security forces where their members are accused of serious crimes, including forced disappearances.”

Read the full Article here: Waiting for justice

New Article: राज्यले बिर्सिएका नागरिक

Ram Bhandari, founder of NEFAD published an article in Naya Patrika

” चक्रव्यूहमा परेको संक्रमणकालीन न्याय पीडित अल्मल्याउने भाँडो त बन्यो, तर वर्षौंको झुट र बेइमानीपछि आमपीडितलाई ढाँट्ने, गुमराहमा राख्ने प्रवृत्तिको पर्दाफास भएको छ । यही प्रवृत्ति हाबी रहिरहे न त संक्रमणकालीन न्याय आयोगले काम गर्न सक्छन् न त मानवअधिकार आयोगले । अन्ततः पीडितले न्याय पाउनेछैनन् ।”

Read the full Article here: राज्यले बिर्सिएका नागरिक

New Article: Costs of justice delayed

Ram Bhandari, founder of NEFAD published an article in My Republica.

The constitution has promised social justice and reparations for victims.  It has also granted investigatory powers to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). But the government seems to be trying to curtail NHRC’s powers through the bill, while Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) reconstitution and appointment of officials remain in limbo

Read the full article here: Costs of justice delayed

New Article: अवसानको मुखमा संक्रमणकालीन न्याय

Ram Bhandari, founder of NEFAD published an article in Naya Patrika

“संक्रमणकालीन न्यायको साँचो र दिगो समाधान खोज्ने हो भने दृढ राजनीतिक इच्छा शक्तिसँगै राजनीतिक दल र राज्य खुला तथा पारदर्शी ढंगले विस्तृत परामर्शमा आउनैपर्छ । द्वन्द्वपीडित खुला संवादका लागि तयार छौँ । यी समस्या र माग सम्बोधन गर्न सामाजिक–राजनीतिक ढंगले बहस गरौँ । संक्रमणकालीन न्याय ऐन परिमार्जनको थालनी प्रस्थान बिन्दु हुन सक्छ । सबैभन्दा महत्वपूर्ण  आमपीडितको कुरा सुनौँ, समाधान यहीँ छ । “

Read the full Article here:अवसानको मुखमा संक्रमणकालीन न्याय

News Bulletin: Transitional Justice Hangs in the Balance in Nepal

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Survivors and victims of the conflict in Nepal are concerned that their hopes for justice and reparations are being undermined by a stealthy government campaign to offer amnesty for war crimes.
The government strategy, which has emerged in Kathmandu over the past week, seeks to reverse a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of Nepal in 2015 that declared an amnesty would be illegal.
Many of the Supreme Court justices have been replaced since 2015 and the government has now asked the Court to reverse the 2015 decision, even though the ruling was handed down by a special bench of three justices that has never been challenged until now. The government request will be heard by the Court on Thursday, May 16.
“If this amnesty decision is reversed, we are doomed,” said one veteran observer of Nepal’s transition process who is close to the victims. Ram Bhandari, who lost his father during the conflict and heads the Network of Families of the Disappeared (NEFAD), agreed. In a recent opinion piece he wrote: “We suffered. We were victimized and betrayed.”
The conflict was triggered in 1996 by a Maoist uprising and ended ten years later with a comprehensive peace agreement that pledged to address the needs of victims and survivors. Two commissions were set up by the government in 2014 to investigate disappearances and promote truth and reconciliation, and are due to be extended soon.
The commissions have heard from 65,000 witnesses in the last 5 years and the disappearances commission alone has collected files on 2,518 cases. In spite of this, the commissions have been boycotted by western governments, human rights advocates, and the United Nations because they were set up under the same law that called for an amnesty.
Advocates for the victims are totally opposed to an amnesty and have criticized the commissions for being bureaucratic and ineffective. But they also feel the international boycott has deprived the commissions of expertise and helped to ensure their irrelevance.
Many family members still feel that the commissions have a role to play and are worried that their voluminous database will be compromised if the government is able to control the appointment of new commissioners. NEFAD argues that the entire process for extending the commissions is flawed and needs to be revised.
One diplomat in Kathmandu who has observed the long and tortuous search for traditional justice urged human rights monitors to attend the May 16 hearing.
Another observer said that Nepal’s outspoken media, and the country’s highly praised human rights commission, will not be sufficient to protect the rights of victims if the Court decision is overturned on May 16.