Adelaide, Jan 4: Bhutanese Australian community living in South Australia have appealed the Government of Nepal for taking steps in registering people who were released from Bhutanese prisons over different times as refugees.
The letter addressed to Nepalese PM Dr. Baburam Bhattrai contains 30 signatures mostly of community workers, former political prisoners including Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience and community members.
After released from Chemgang prison, which the letter describes as the most notorious prison in Bhutan, some nine Bhutanese are known to be living with their family or relatives in refugee camp who are denied refugee status by the Government of Nepal.They are dependent on the ration and facility given to the host family. According to the appeal, they are having traumatic life and various hardships including insecurity and uncertainty in Nepal.
Although they made various appeals and attempts in the past to get registered, their appeal was turned down each time without satisfactory reasons.
Interestingly, they are recognized and registered by International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) as political prisoners and their ICRC numbers are mentioned against their name in the appeal. The appeal is copied to various stakeholders including Nepalese Home Minister, UNHCR and refugee advocacy groups, among others.