August 02, 2009: Ratan Gazmere, chief coordinator of Association of the Human Rights Activists (AHURA) – Bhutan was arrested at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Friday (July 31) while trying to enter Nepal.
According to the information received, he was on his way to Kathmandu to attend a conference. But repeated attempts to verify which conference he was planned to attend failed. He had planned to receive on-arrival visa at the airport but was denied and arrested. He has been kept at the airport since then.
Immigration official said Nepal does not have legal provision for on-arrival visa to people carrying travel documents. The official further said he would not have arrested had he informed the immigration in Nepal of his arrival earlier or had obtained visa from Nepalese embassy in Australia. “Since he is a distinguished figure, government would have made necessary arrangement for on-arrival visa had he informed earlier,” the official said.
The immigration officials but denied when he has been kept. As per law, such persons are kept by the airlines through which he travelled. The officials also denied revealing the airlines he flew in.
He is likely to be deported back to Australia by Monday evening. He is denied access to media and Nepalese political leaders.
Gazmere was resettled to Australia early this year under the third country resettlement program.