The National Human Rights Commission has defended its statement delivered at the UN Human Rights Council, saying it was that of the commission and not of an individual.
Summoning the commission to seek clarification, Prime Minister KP Oli had reprimanded commission member and Spokesperson Mohna Ansari for presenting it to the 31st session of the UNHRC in Geneva last month.
NHRC Chair Anup Raj Sharma has made it clear that the statement were not her personal remark. “We would like to draw the attention of all stakeholders that the views expressed in the HRC session by Mohna Ansari was that of the commission, not of her personal comment,” Sharma said in a commission’s statement on Sunday.
In a one-page statement presented at the session, Ansari summarised overall rights situation, state of impunity, women’s rights to pass on citizenship to their children, excessive use of force in the Tarai.
Sharma, in his statement, has also urged the stakeholders to focus on impunity prevailing in the country.
“Since no one is above the law, the commission is of the opinion that the authorities and responsible officials should focus on impunity
and its consequences,” reads the statement.
Rights defenders and lawyers have criticised the government’s summoning the commission and seeking clarification over its independent activities as unconstitutional move that contradict the Paris Principles on National Human Rights Institutions.
“A constitutional body need not endorse the government position, as it is an oversight mechanism to monitor the executive,” said Bipin Adhikari, an expert on
constitutional law. “It might be wrong briefing by his Cabinet Secretariat that PM Oli acted irrationally, which is unjustifiable.”
The NHRC is a constitutional body, which the constitution has been guaranteed its autonomy and independence to oversee the human rights issues, and recommend action against rights violators. Adhikari argued the interference of the executive would end the purpose of having the institution.
“Now the commission has made its position, it will be wise for the PM to admit his ignorance about the activities of the commission,” he said