Ratan arrested in Kathmandu

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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.

26644 COMMENTS

  1. The comment below is not valid:
    “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.”

    By law, no Nepalese embassy in Australia (abraod are authorise to iussue visa on Travel document without the permission Home Minisrty (immigration of Nepal).

    So issues here is all Bhutanese settling abroad have to approach Nepalese government to decide on the issue of Bhutanese refugees since many would like to visit Nepal for various reasons before they get the citizen of their country of settlement.
    Parsu

  2. i dont think that Gazmer shuld go to any conference issuing on bhutanese case. as he is already resettled in australia thinking that there would be no progress in repartriation.
    so, if nepal government allows such case assuming Gazmer as an ideal figure what about other thousands of bhutanese refugee who came thruogh the same documents.