Nepal: Proposed actions against security forces is a ploy to promote General Toran Singh

New Delhi: The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), a Delhi based regional human rights organisation, today stated that reported intention of the Government of Nepal to ‘take action’ against 350 security persons and Maoists is nothing but a ploy to hoodwink international community and allow the government to push through promotion of General Toran Singh to Chief of the Nepal Army Staff. General Toran Singh is implicated in very serious crimes including torture and disappearance.

On 24th November the Nepalese media reported ‘cabinet sources’ suggesting that the Government of Nepal intends to ‘take action’ against 350 persons including security personnel, government officers and Maoist leaders for involvement in extra judicial killings and human rights violations.

Empty Promises:

ACHR underlined that the international community should understand that in the context of Nepal there is little value of promises of undefined government ‘action’ on human rights.

ACHR further noted in this regard the recent analysis of Mr Ian Martin the former Head of UNMIN who underlined in the Nepalese media on 8th November 2009: ‘Repeated commitments have been made to investigate the fate of the disappeared, compensate victims of the conflict, enable displaced persons to return, establish a comprehensive truth commission, and – less frequently and more reluctantly - take action against those responsible for major human rights violations.’

In examining the results of these commitments, Mr Martin also noted: “Not a single person has been properly brought to justice for a major human rights violation committed during the armed conflict or since”.

‘This recent ‘media leak’ must be seen as part of a longstanding pattern of unfulfilled promises to investigate and prosecute human rights crimes in Nepal that violate the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and international norms’. Stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of ACHR.

In the case of General Singh OHCHR has made representations to the Prime Minister of Nepal that there should be no promotion until the case is fully and impartially investigated.  The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in its “Report of investigation into arbitrary detention, torture and disappearances at Maharajgunj RNA barracks, Kathmandu, in 2003-2004”of May 2006 concluded that the “the commander of the 10th Brigade [General Toran Singh] knew or ought to have known about these actions…” OHCHR recommended that “those potentially implicated directly or through command responsibility for units involved should be suspended from any official duties pending the investigation, and should not be proposed for participation in United Nations peacekeeping missions”.

But despite the overwhelming evidence the government has not only failed to take action, but is now clearly moving toward promoting Singh.

[Ends]

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