Nepal: Supreme Court obstructs attempt to create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission fearing that “serious crimes” could be covered by amnesty.

The Nepal Civil War, which started in 1996, left more than 16,000 dead and 100,000 internally displaced. Hundreds disappeared and families of the victims are looking for truth and justice about the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones. 

The Peace Accord signed on 21 November 2006 included an agreement to investigate the war crimes. However, all the legislation projects submitted to create a Commission of Truth and Reconciliation have provoked criticism and, consequently, been blocked.


In March this year, once again, when President Ram Baran Yadav endorsed a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Nepal’s Supreme Court hampered the initiative. The court expressed concerns that the new law could grant amnesty to the perpetrators of serious war crimes.

Nearly seven years after the end of the war, no one has been prosecuted, from either side, and attempts to resolve the issue appear to have stalled.

The question remains in Nepal, as the country seeks closure after its 10-year civil war, whether those guilty of serious crimes should be granted amnesty or not. Experiences form other countries show the importance of finding a compromise including some kind of amnesty.

After the decision of the Supreme Court, Mrinendra Risal, a member of Nepal’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force expressed their will to revise the truth and reconciliation project to better meet international standards and the aspirations of the Nepalese people.

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