HRW tells Nepal to appoint qualified human rights commissioners

New York, Sept. 20 (ANI): The Human Rights Watch has reportedly told the Nepali government to appoint qualified, independent, and new members to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The HRW said that the government should appoint an independent body to nominate the new commissioners after it allowed the terms of all commissioners to lapse on September 16, leaving the commission leaderless and Nepali citizens with even less protection than before.

Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch said that effectively dismantling the NHRC is a deliberate blow by the government to human rights at the most critical time since the end of the civil war.

In spite of repeated reminders, including from citizen groups, the government chose to let the terms expire. Although the commission's staff remains in place, it can do little without leadership from appointed commissioners.

The commission has repeatedly warned that the government's failure to carry out its recommendations has fostered a culture of impunity. It contends that fewer than 9 percent of 386 recommendations regarding human rights violations it made to the government over a decade from 2000 to 2010 were fully implemented, while more than 55 percent were not implemented at all.

Adams added that a strong and independent NHRC is essential to fight Nepal's deeply entrenched culture of impunity and to ensure justice for victims of rights abuses, adding that a commission without strong and independent commissioners is voiceless and powerless. (ANI)

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