Home Human Rights 18 asylum seekers continue hunger strike in prison

18 asylum seekers continue hunger strike in prison

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18 asylum seekers from Bhutan, who were arrested by Nepal police on Monday evening, have continued their hunger strike even inside the prison cells for the third day.

A few among those declared ‘disqualified’ by the Nepalese Ministry of Home Affairs (Picture : Dikesh Lama/BNS)

“The have been fasting-unto-death for three days. They are determined to continue the fasting until their demand of refugee status is fulfilled,” said Dr Bhampa Rai, Chairperson of the Bhutanese Refugee Representative Repatriation Committee.

A group of rights activists including Dr Rai earlier reached Damak Police Station for inquiring the conditions of detainees.

According to Dr Rai, the detainees have told him they would even refuse to walk free even if police decide to release them.

A special squad of Nepal Police arrested those asylum seekers from Beldangi-II on Monday, accusing them of disturbing elections of camp management committees scheduled for Jan 30 and 31.

While, the agitating group has said the asylum seekers were arrested following their peaceful protests.

On Tuesday, some rights activists condemned the act of arbitrary arrest of asylum seekers and demanded unconditional release at the earliest possible.

The police said they would continue to detain them until the elections in camps are over by Thursday.

According to a high-level verification team formed by the Nepalese Ministry of Home Affairs, there are 174 Bhutanese asylum seekers who were disqualified for their refugee status on various grounds.

However, those ‘disqualified’ persons have accused the authority of intentionally cheating them by tagging them as unfit for refugee status.

Last week, they even claimed that they were disqualified since they were unable to pay heavy sums as bribes to officials during the verification process held last year.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Quote “According to a high-level verification team formed by the Nepalese Ministry of Home Affairs, there are 174 Bhutanese asylum seekers who were disqualified for their refugee status on various grounds.
    However, those ‘disqualified’ persons have accused the authority of intentionally cheating them by tagging them as unfit for refugee status.
    Last week, they even claimed that they were disqualified since they were unable to pay heavy sums as bribes to officials during the verification process held last year.” Unquote.
    This speaks volumes about the integrity of Nepalese Officials in their capacity of delivering services to the nation. We used to hear play conversations broadcast by Radio Nepal in which Biharis approached Nepali Official with money/gifts and other promises asking them to process/manipulate for Nepali citizenship documents. The results are vivid in the eyes of every common person now with millions of non ethnic Nepalese turning into citizens over night and swamping the Himalayan Nation suffering chastisement of constriction from the south and west that began from 1850s. With the demise of Monarchy and political instability sustaining in the country, worse can be expected.
    Prithvi Narayan Shah’s words sound very valuable to be applied for the strength of nation at all times. GHUS DINYA RA LINYA DUWAI DESAKA SATUR HUN. How true? The ethnic Nepalese reported as seeking Refugee Status in Nepal and the appetite for bribe even from ethnic Nepalese people has weakened the strength of Nepalese state from within that looks bound to crumble some day! May the Nation see again the rise of another Prithvi Narayan Shah unifying and strengthening the nation subjecting all adverse situations.

  2. You are right. Where are our leaders ?
    They prefer to stand near by Gora (English people for personal benefits ) other than remain in the camp with fellow poor refugees and fight for democracy and rights.
    I have seen more than dozen of so called leaders during the past 22 years but all are found corrupt and they made money in the name of refugee welfare fund and quietly enjoying luxury life some where.