Incident Reports

Civil society bodies want TJ commissions reshuffled



Various civil society organisations have asked the government to introduce provisions, in the bill to amend the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act-2014, for reshuffling members of the two transitional justice bodies. Stating that conflict victims have lost their faith in the incumbent members of the two commissions, they have demanded a reshuffle ensuring transparency of their appointment. In their preliminary suggestions on the amendment bill, some three dozen civil society organisations and human rights activists have accused members of the two commissions of doing nothing significant in the last three years. The government last month unveiled its ‘zero draft’ of the bill to amend the law in line with the 2015 directive of the Supreme Court that ordered legal amendments in line with international standards. The bill is being discussed, with human rights organisations and conflict victims providing inputs for the final draft which will be presented to Parliament for endorsement. “Have a new set of commissioners, chosen for their merits and credentials in the field of human rights and women’s rights rather than their loyalty to a political party,” read the recommendations, calling for independence of the commissions. More than three years since their formation, the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have not completed investigation into a single case. The CIEDP, which has received some 3,000 complaints, has completed preliminary probe into 500 cases so far but it has yet to begin detailed investigation. The progress of the TRC is worse. Out of some 63,000 complaints, it has completed preliminary investigation into 2,000 cases but not a single case has been fully probed. Civil society organisations argue that even if the law is strong, the transitional justice bodies will fail to deliver if their members are chosen for their loyalty rather than professional integrity and if the commissions are kept under the shadow of the government.