Six Bhutanese political prisoners released

A total of 49 political prisoners are still languishing in Bhutan jails. Most of them are currently serving life sentences.

Prisoners
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NL Today

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Kathmandu: A total of six Bhutanese political prisoners have been released from a central jail in Thimphu, Bhutan.

The Global Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners in Bhutan (GCRPPB) said they were released from Chemgang Central Prison during the first week of April.

Political prisoners—Tshewang Rinzin, Kharka Bahadur Mongar, Bala Ram Chamling, Nayendra Prasad Kharel, Ghana Shyam Gurung and Ram Bahadur Khulal—have been released and they have reunited with their families.

According to GCRPPB, all except Rinzin were freed after they completed their sentence of 15 years in prison. Rinzin, who was sentenced to life, was freed after being granted amnesty by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

[RelatedA long and desperate wait for the families of Bhutanese political prisoners]

GCRPPB said it welcomes the step of the King of Bhutan to release them safely.

Meanwhile, GCRPPB has reiterated its appeal to the Bhutanese King to have mercy and release all the political prisoners languishing in various prisons in Bhutan.

A total of 49 political prisoners are still languishing in Bhutan jails. Most of them were booked under the National Security Act which demanded life sentences; thus the prisoners are currently serving life sentences. Most of their elderly parents, wives, and children are now resettled in various countries after living in various UNHCR aided refugee camps in Nepal for more than 20 years.

[RelatedConcerns raised over wellbeing of Bhutanese political prisoners]

GCRPPB has been making repeated calls to free the prisoners by appealing to the King of Bhutan and other stakeholders. The campaign was formed in 2019 to call for the early release of Bhutanese political prisoners.

[RelatedBhutanese diaspora calls to rescind award to former Bhutanese Home Minister on charge of human rights violation]

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