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Nepal passes bill offering amnesty for war crimes

Published on Apr 26, 2014 5:16 PM

KATHMANDU (AFP) - Former Maoist rebels and security forces who committed torture, killings and other crimes during Nepal's decade-long civil war could be granted amnesty under new legislation approved by parliament, a lawmaker said on Saturday.

Lawmakers passed a bill in parliament late on Friday to set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a Commission on the Disappeared, aimed at healing wounds from the decade-long conflict.

The legislation had drawn fire before its passage from UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, who warned earlier this month that amnesties for serious abuses would "weaken the foundation for a genuine and lasting peace in Nepal".

Under provisions of the legislation, those found guilty of serious crimes during hearings by the commissions could receive a full pardon, said Mr Ram Narayan Bidari, a Maoist lawmaker. He was present in parliament when the bill was passed by a minimum two-thirds majority.

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