NEPAL: AI report: 'Nepal's Progress on HR Dismal'

Friday, May 13, 2011
The Kathmandu Post
Southern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

The Amnesty International (AI), in its annual report for 2010, said progress made by Nepal in upholding human rights is dismal. Repeated cases of violence and impunity have hoisted the milieu of insecurity in Nepal, it was reported. In the report launched here on Friday by the AI-Nepal, the rights watchdog states powerful governments are blocking advances in international justice by standing above the law on human rights.

Cases of torture in custody and other ill treatments have been reported in 98 countries. Two thirds of the world's people lack access to justice.

"Although 147 countries have ratified the Convention, torture remains widespread and we continue to investigate reports of torture worldwide," it reads. "In 2010, AI recorded and investigated rights abuses in 157 countries and territories worldwide. Our research shows the need for individuals to stand together to protect human rights is as great as ever." The report that documented unlawful restrictions of freedom of expression in 89 countries claims the trend of rights violation and impunity has amplified globally.

In Nepal's context, it says the promises made by the Comprehensive Peace Accord on human rights have not been addressed. It states that the political crisis and increasing number of armed groups have challenged the peace process. The dismal progress in the formation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been attributed to political influence and inadequate witness protection.

"Officials actively obstructed accountability mechanisms, and commitments made by political leaders as part of the peace process were not fulfilled in practice," reads report. "Torture and other ill-treatment in police custody remained widespread. Ethnic, religious and gender discrimination went largely unchallenged. Violence against women and girls persisted."