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Nepal PM attacked over amnesty deal

world Updated: Sep 03, 2011 00:27 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Four prominent human rights bodies have voiced opposition to a deal between Maoists and Madhesi parties in Nepal to grant amnesty to those accused of human rights abuses during the country's civil war.

The deal earned Maoists crucial support from the Terai-based parties and helped party vice-chairman Baburam Bhattarai get elected as the country's 35th prime minister on August 28.

The four-point deal for power between Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and United Democratic Madhesi Forum, a five party conglomeration, has been opposed by other political parties as well.

In an open letter sent to Bhattarai on Friday, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Advocacy Forum and International Commission of Jurists urged the new PM to cancel the pact.

"We are dismayed that the agreement calls for the withdrawal of criminal cases…and declares a general amnesty which could include serious crimes and human rights abuses," said the letter. They said that the general amnesty would violate fundamental rights of victims of rights abuses and threaten principles of constitutional supremacy, judicial independence and rule of law.

The letter stated that the agreement between UCPN (M) and UDMF, if applied, would contravene Nepal's obligations under international law and violate the country's Supreme Court's directives.

Nearly 13,000 people died, thousands others were injured and over 1300 disappeared during Nepal's 10-year civil war that ended in 2006.

But no action has yet been taken against the perpetrators of those crims. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission proposed as per the peace deal is yet to be constituted.