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IX. Recommendations

To the Government of Nepal:

  1. Take all steps necessary to ensure that military, police and other security forces comply in full with the requirements of international human rights and humanitarian law.  In particular, bring an end to the widespread practice of extrajudicial and summary executions, “disappearances” and unlawful arrest and detention.  Forces must not conduct direct or indiscriminate attacks on civilians or civilian objects.
  2. Conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations into serious allegations of violations of human rights and humanitarian law by the security forces.  Discipline or prosecute as appropriate all those implicated for their direct participation in abuses or as a matter of command responsibility in accordance with international due process standards.  
  3. Cooperate with investigations conducted by the National Human Rights Commission and other independent and impartial bodies into allegations of serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law. 
  4. Ensure that all prosecutions of military personnel for violations of human rights or humanitarian law are brought, to the extent possible, before the civilian criminal justice systems, rather than before the military courts, as recommended by the U.N. Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights.  This would ensure greater transparency and would provide concrete evidence that the government is acting in good faith when it says it seeks to stop criminal behavior by forces under its control.  In cases where prosecutions are conducted by courts martial, the proceedings should be as transparent as possible, and proceedings, including judgments and sentences, should be public.
  5. Hold superior officers, whether civilian or military, criminally accountable if they knew, or should have known, that forces under their command had committed or were about to commit criminal acts, and nothing was done to prevent such commission. 
  6. Take all necessary steps to stop the practice of enforced disappearances.  Make disappearances a criminal offence.  The security forces should immediately make known the whereabouts or circumstances of persons whose enforced disappearances are on file with the National Commission for Human Rights.  In addition to prosecuting those responsible, the government must provide suitable compensation for the victims or family members of those who have “disappeared.” 
  7. Order the Home Ministry and the Defense Ministry to comply promptly with all habeas corpus orders issued by the courts.  As the government itself stated on March 26, 2004, “any malicious exercise against the right to [habeas corpus] remedy shall be punishable by law.”  The government must ensure an effective and prompt remedy in the case of violations of this right. 
  8. Ensure that all persons detained by the security forces are held at recognized places of detention, and are not subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.  Their whereabouts must be made known to family, counsel and the International Committee of the Red Cross.  Any persons detained by the security forces must be allowed contact with family and unhindered access to legal counsel of the detainee’s own choice.  All procedural rights guaranteed under the Constitution and the Code of Criminal Procedure must be respected. 
  9. Ensure that TADA, which expired in April 2004, and no longer has any legal force, is not used by law enforcement authorities or prosecutors, either as a grounds for prosecution or a threat against political opponents.
  10. Organize, or allow others to organize, regular and suitable  training to relevant officials in all branches of the security forces on human rights law, humanitarian law and the code of criminal procedure. 
  11. The security forces receive training in conducting operations in compliance with international humanitarian law, such as is offered by the International Committee of the Red Cross.  Forces engaged in law enforcement should receive training in the U.N. Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and the U.N. Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.
  12. Fulfill the government’s commitment to strengthen the National Human Rights Commission’s capacity to monitor, report, and investigate allegations of violations of human rights abuses.  This includes: adequately funding and staffing the NHRC, ensuring that the NHRC receives unfettered access to the technical assistance of the United Nations and others, guaranteeing free and safe movement of NHRC staff, allowing NHRC staff free and private interviews with potential witnesses and sources of information, guaranteeing the safety of persons who give evidence to the NHRC, reporting allegations of violations by the security forces to the NHRC, responding promptly to requests for information and assistance put forward by the NHRC, and protecting the independence of the NHRC commissioners and staff. 
  13. Stop undermining and discrediting the work of persons working to protect and report on human rights abuses, such as the NHRC, the Nepal Bar Association, human rights lawyers, journalists and others.  In its pledge of 26 March, the government undertook to “protect” human rights workers and activists “working for the implementation of human rights and international humanitarian law.”  The government should act with determination to fulfill this pledge. 
  14. Follow through on its proposal to invite the special procedures of the UNHCHR.  In particular, the government should invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, and the UN Working Groups on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, and Arbitrary Detentions to Nepal to investigate and report on the situation.  Recommendations which may be made by these thematic agencies should be implemented in a timely manner. 
  15. Consistent with the Human Rights Accord promoted by the NHRC and the government’s March 26, re-commitment statement, outline an implementation plan, with firm deadlines and measurable benchmarks, to provide for the government’s compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law obligations.
  16. Include within any political settlement provisions to ensure the long-term protection of human rights.  Such provisions could include the deployment of international human rights monitors, the expansion of offices of the NHRC, resolution of all outstanding cases of disappearances and compensation for victims and their families. 
  17. Implement the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) agreed with the donor community, especially the commitment to mainstream “the very poor, deprived communities and backward regions through the increased involvement of local bodies in improving service delivery and accountability [and that] deprived groups will be involved in decision-making and will be adequately represented in the decision making process”  The government should, with strong support of the donor community,  implement its PRS fully with regard to disadvantaged groups, and focus on reforms to (i) revise existing laws to eliminate discrimination against deprived communities and women; and (ii) implement affirmative action programs to increase the social diversity of public services. 

To the leadership of CPN-Maoist:

  1. Issue immediate instructions CPN-Maoist forces to cease the abduction, torture and killing of civilians, including but not limited to persons suspected of being “informers,” or members of other political parties who advocate against the Maoists.  Take all necessary steps to ensure the compliance of CPN-Maoist forces with international humanitarian law.  In particular, this includes abiding by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions which prohibits, among other things, the killing, torture or other ill-treatment of all persons in their custody.  Forces also must not conduct direct or indiscriminate attacks on civilians or civilian objects, including the abduction of civilians. 
  2. Ensure that the rights to freedom of opinion, expression and association are guaranteed in areas under CPN-Maoist’s effective control, and that no person or community will be punished for exercising these rights.  As part of this commitment, the Maoists must also cease the practice of forcing entire communities to attend political indoctrination programs, often for weeks at a time.  
  3. Issue immediate instructions to CPN-Maoist cadres cease the common practice of forcing villagers to provide food, shelter and money, and using schools as training and recruitment grounds. 
  4. Guarantee unhindered access of humanitarian, relief and development supplies to areas under their effective control.  Stop extortion of aid organizations seeking to assist communities under Maoist control.  Undertake to secure the safety of local and international aid workers in areas under their control. 
  5. Cooperate fully and transparently with the NHRC in its investigations of allegations of abuse by the Maoist forces.   Guarantee freedom of movement and ensure security of NHRC staff, allow the NHRC staff to interview freely and privately any potential witnesses or sources of information, guarantee the safety of persons who provide information to the NHRC, report allegations of abuse by its forces to the NHRC, and respond in a timely manner to any requests for information or assistance put forward by the NHRC. 
  6. Issue an implementation plan consistent with the Human Rights Accord proposed by the NHRC, with firm dates and measurable benchmarks, to meet the obligations of international humanitarian law, and to honor and protect the human rights of civilians within their zones of control.  The undertakings in this plan should be made clear to all Maoist cadres and workers.   
  7. Comply with the “Minimum Immediate Steps for the Protection of Human Rights by the Maoists” as issued by the NHRC on May 27, 2004.  The Minimum Immediate Steps calls on the Maoists to clearly identify a command structure which will be responsible for ensuring that Maoist forces abide by humanitarian and human rights law, to guarantee the freedoms of assembly, expression and association, and to prohibit any behavior which amounts to a violation of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
  8. Include within any political settlement, provisions to ensure the long-term protection of human rights.  Such provisions could include the deployment of international human rights monitors, the expansion of offices of the NHRC, and freedom of movement for humanitarian, aid and development workers.

To the King:

  1. Accept the limitations placed on his role under the 1990 Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal.  In particular, the Constitution unambiguously denies the King the right to choose his own Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.
  2. Respect the right of the people as enshrined in the Constitution to elect their representatives at the local and national levels.  The summary dismissal of an elected Prime Minister and the failure to hold elections is an unacceptable over-reach of the powers vested in the King.

To States Providing Military Assistance to the Nepali Government:

  1. Pressure the Nepali government to abide by its commitments under international human rights and humanitarian law, the Geneva Conventions, and international human rights law.  Publicly condemn specific violations and urge the government to address them. 
  2. Actively monitor the end use of any weapons provided and investigate whether weapons supplied have been used to commit violations of humanitarian law.  Ensure that security forces are well-trained in the use of weapons.
  3. Ensure that the Nepali security forces at all levels are receiving suitable training that would ensure their compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law.  This training should be woven into the training and operational instructions received by all soldiers.

To Outside States, such as the U.S., U.K., the E.U., Switzerland, and India, and International Agencies, such as the U.N., and Donors:

  1. Continue to press the Nepali government to act on its stated human rights commitments.  The sustained support by the international community for the NHRC and for the human rights community more generally over the last year created an undeniable, positive pressure on the government to take human rights issues seriously.  In particular, the role of the United Kingdom, the E.U. countries, Switzerland, and the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights has been critical.  As a result of the pressure, on March 26, 2004, the government signed a unilateral declaration reaffirming its commitments to abide by its obligations under international law.  It is critical that the international community continue to press the Nepali government to act on its stated commitments.
  2. Ensure follow through on the technical and financial assistance pledged by the U.N. High Commission for Human Rights (UNCHR) in April 2004.  The UN High Commission for Human Rights must keep its commitment to providing the NHRC with the necessary technical and financial expertise it needs to continue reporting neutrally on abuses by both sides on the ground.  In particular, the UNHCHR should assist the NHRC with the implementation of a nationwide monitoring mission.  Because of the logistical challenges of human rights monitoring in Nepal, effective UNCHR assistance will require a significant increase in international personnel and logistical support by the UNHCHR to the NHRC.
  3. Encourage the Nepali government to invite the Special Rapporteurs of the U.N. High Commission to Nepal for fact-finding investigations on allegations of abuse by both sides. 
  4. Continue to pressure the Maoists to allow humanitarian aid and assistance and freedom of movement in areas under their control and to stop the practice of extortion of aid workers and agencies. 

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