Today, the ICJ submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) ahead of the review of Nepal’s human rights record in January-February 2021.
In the submission, the ICJ, Advocacy Forum – Nepal (AF), Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance (THRD Alliance) & University of Passau, provided information and analysis to assist the Working Group to make recommendations to the Government of Nepal to take measures to prevent acts of torture and ill-treatment; to implement a human rights compliant legal framework for accountability and remedy and reparation for victims; and institute other measures to comply with its international obligations, including ratification of international human rights instruments.
In light of the concerns set out above, the ICJ, AF and THRD Alliance call upon the UPR Working Group and the Human Rights Council to recommend the following to Government of Nepal:
- Ensure that the law criminalizing torture is consistent with international law, through the passage of an anti-torture law, and/or through amendment to the current Penal Code, including that the:
- Definition of torture in national law is in line with the CAT and other international treaty provisions;
- Statutory limitation or prescription periods for the filing of complaints or cases of torture or other ill- treatment be removed;
- Penalties for torture are commensurate to the gravity of the offence;
- Definition of reparation encompasses restitution, compensation, rehabilitation (including medical and psychological care, as well as legal and social services), and guarantees of non-repetition;
- Independent mechanisms for the regular monitoring of places of detention are established, or existing mechanisms adequately supported.
- Ensure that all allegations of torture are registered, investigated and prosecuted by an independent and impartial investigative body;
- Ensure that all detainees have access to legal representation;
- Collect and publicize data on allegations of torture and ill-treatment, including prosecutions and any measures, including disciplinary measures, taken against perpetrators;
- Establish an independent police service commission or equivalent body to ensure fair and transparent appointment, promotion, transfer of police officers and to oversee disciplinary complaints against the police;
- Establish a consistent system of documentation in each police station and at any detention facilities, in particular, concerning the entry into and release of detainees from custody, as well as the procedure during interrogations;
- Systematize human rights education and training in police training programmes, including medico-legal training (based on Istanbul Protocol);
- Ensure that victims are adequately involved in criminal proceedings, in accordance with international standards developed for this purpose;
- Ratify OPCAT and establish a national preventative mechanism that complies with its requirements; become a party to other core human rights treaties to which Nepal is not yet a party;
- Accept the requests to visit Nepal from UN special procedures, including the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, the Special Rapporteur on Torture, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.
Frederick Rawski, ICJ Asia and Pacific Regional Director, e: frederick.rawski(a)icj.orgAdvocacyNon-legal submissionsWeb stories