What became of 1,400 people who disappeared in Nepal?
A decade after a bloody war ended, Nepal has begun a transitional justice process for those who suffered during war.
More than 10 years after a bloody civil war ended in Nepal, the country has finally started a process of transitional justice.
Some 16,000 people were killed in a decade of Maoist rebellion and at least 1,400 went missing, most at the hands of security forces.
The families of those who disappeared during the 1996-2006 conflict have finally started to register their complaints, but the response has been lukewarm.
The Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) were formed last year after many delays. They will handle cases such as rape, abduction, murder, displacement, mutilation, and torture.
Ram Kumar Bhandari, who has been campaigning for the families of the disappeared, said the commissions were not well-prepared and that many people in rural areas were not even aware of them.
Bhandari, whose father was “disappeared” by the army, says that Local Peace Committees responsible for registering the complaints are filled with political-appointees linked to alleged perpetrators.
He said that the “protection and confidentiality of the families” should be prioritised as many of them have received threats from the police and the army – which stand accused in most of the cases.
A Nepal army spokesman said that “the army has provided all material it has concerning disappearances to TRC through the defence ministry”.
“The army has helped fully to support TRC and the investigation of the disappeared from its side and will continue to do so,” Tara Bahadur Karki told Al Jazeera.
Gyanu Adhikari reported from Kathmandu