I am from Nepal and it is not only one of the poorest nations, but also one of the most corrupt. It went through a decade long civil war and despite the involvement of the UN in the peace process, people were not held accountable for crimes committed. In a recent incident, Nepal’s Colonel Kumar Lama was charged in the UK for two counts of torture. The UK seemingly has a law that can prosecute anyone that has committed a crime violating human rights in any part of the world, if they are ever found in the UK.
I would like to term this as Universal Accountability and completely support a law like this. It seems that people who commit crime are never going to be held accountable in Nepal, no matter how strong the evidences against them are. They always find a way to get by. However, laws that have Universal Accountability will help to hold criminals accountable.
Political leaders from Nepal love to travel to Western countries. No matter what laws they break, what crimes they commit, it is unheard of any of them to have been punished by the judicial system. Even if they are punished, the political pressure is so great that it is very hard to enforce any such decision. Laws enforcing Universal Accountability will at least help to hold these people who committed crimes hold accountable for the wrong they did because frankly, we cannot do that!
There is a way of getting around this – not going to those countries which have Universal Accountability laws. However, I hope that the rest of the developed world follows suit to the law that the UK has. That way, government of Nepal (and similar others) will be taking a great risk in having cabinet members who have committed crimes, or military personnel for that matter. The Nepali government is not happy that the army Colonel is being tried in a British court, but I do not support the Nepali government and it’s decision. I hope that the Colonel will be charged and be given the maximum punishment possible to teach everyone else a lesson that breaking the law is simply not acceptable. Here is to being a global citizen!