Archive ref no: NCA-18780
Commission Voices Serious Concerns Over Home Ministry Letter Hitting on the Independence of NHRC
The National Human Commission expressed its serious concerns over a letter sent to the Commission from the Home Ministry in which the Commission has been accused of preparing biased reports and also calls for the inclusion of representative of the security forces in the Commission’s human rights investigation teams.
The letter from the Ministry dated 29 March 2004 stated that the Commission has been "…preparing one-sided reports sending the message to the public and also to the international community that the security forces are causing atrocities, thereby tarnishing the image of the security forces…", raising questions on the Commission’s impartial activities, and has therefore drawn serious concern of the Commission. The letter also stated that "while deploying the teams for investigation of complaints against the security forces, the Commission and other organizations have to compulsorily inform local security forces and include a representative from security forces in the investigation team", which clearly seeks to undermine the impartiality and independence of the Commission and is in contravention of the provisions of the Human Rights Commission Act, 2053.
The Commission is surprised that the letter from the Home Ministry has disregarded the declaration made on March 26, 2004 by Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa on "His Majesty’s Government’s Commitment Towards Implementation of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law", and undermines the Commission’s impartial activities and its prestige. The Commission has therefore taken the letter from the Home Ministry as an illegal attempt to intervene in its activities.
The Commission considers it regretful that such a letter has been sent to it at a time when the Commission’s role as an independent organization and its active role in the protection of human rights is drawing serious national and international attention. The Commission also drew attention to the fact that the security agencies have also in the past charged the Commission of being biased, and such charges have proven to be false as evidenced by the fact that the security agencies themselves have accepted their mistakes in operations such as those in Doramba and Chisapani, among several other incidents. As per the Commission’s decision of 1 April 2004, the Commission has requested for measures to be taken in the future for the prevention of such interventions on the Commission’s activities on the basis of such imaginary issues. The Commission is confident that attention will be drawn to this issue and necessary action will be taken on those initiating such correspondence.
Kedar Prasad Paudyal