Int’l human rights groups tell Nepal to rescind recent constitutional appointments

Newly appointed officials of various constitutional bodies after their oath, in Kathmandu, on Wednesday, February 3, 2021.

Kathmandu, March 1

Three international human rights organisations–Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists, and Amnesty International–have urged the government of Nepal to rescind recent appointments at various constitutional bodies including the National Human Rights Commission claiming they kept the constitutional bodies’ integrity in jeopardy.

“The Nepal government should immediately withdraw an ordinance that undermines the independence of constitutional human rights bodies and rescind recent appointments that were made without consultation or parliamentary approval,” reads the statement issued from New York.

The illegitimate appointments process is not simply an abstract irregularity but will lead to ineffective and weak implementation of critical mandates to protect human rights and other rule of law objectives, the groups said.

“The government’s actions are a severe dent in Nepal’s long struggle for a rule of the law-based constitution, which was finally adopted in 2015 to guarantee human rights,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “It is sad to see some of the same politicians who drafted the constitution playing fast and loose with the charter just a few years later.”

The statement also notes that at least two writ petitions challenging the appointments are pending at the Supreme Court.

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