Appealing again for the release of political prisoners

Global Campaign for the Release of the Political Prisoners in Bhutan (GCRPPB) on International Human Rights Day called again the governments and non-governmental organisations to engage in the safe release of the political prisoners from Bhutanese prisons.

This is the third year the team has been campaigning with the governments of the country where exiled Bhutanese have been resettled and other international human rights groups.

GCRPPB representatives in their respective countries of resettlement handed the common petition along with the necessary documents to the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Parliamentarians and human rights organisations appealing for their support towards getting the timely release of Bhutanese Political Prisoners who have been languishing for several decades in Bhutan’s prisons.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern in her response to the appeal stated that her office has noted the issue and has forwarded for early action to her Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta. GCRPPB New Zealand representative Sudarshan Adhikari also appealed to several parliamentarians and the country-based Amnesty International.

Similarly in Australia GCRPPB representative, I P Adhikari appealed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Foreign Minister Morise Payne, Shadow Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights. In The United Kingdom, Bhutanese Community leader Prem Giri petitioned on behalf of GCRPPB to the British Foreign Secretary and his local Member of Parliament urging them to exert pressure on Bhutan to release the political prisoners. GCRPPB representative in Denmark Purna Dahal handed over the appeals to the Danish Foreign Minister and other governmental bodies seeking their support.

In The Netherlands, GCRPPB coordinator Ram Karki handed over the petition to Dutch Foreign Ministry officials, members of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Netherlands-based international human rights groups.

In Canada, Prakash Gautam, a brother of one of the political prisoners Kumar Gautam, petitioned the Canadian government on behalf of GCRPPB and in the USA GCRPPB representative CM Nirola together with Nabin Nepal petitioned senators from their respective states. Nepal personally met Senator Marshall Blackbone and State Senator Mark Allen Pody and briefed them about the prisoners’ issue before handing them the appeal and the relevant documents. Blackbone responded that he sent a letter to the Bhutanese king requesting him to take action. The office of the US President and the US State Department also acknowledged the receipt of the appeal and documents and stated that proper action will be taken after going through the documents.

The petition was also sent to King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, Prime Minister Lotey Tshering, all members of the Bhutanese parliament, the government of Nepal, Kathmandu- and Delhi based diplomatic missions of the eight countries where exiled Bhutanese are resettled, UN Human Rights Council and the European Union seeking their support to resolve this severe humanitarian issue.

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