An open letter to the king of Bhutan

Despite living in economically developed countries and enjoying all necessary life amenities, the resettled families of the Bhutanese political prisoners feel incomplete and emotionally desolate.

Ram Karki

  • Read Time 2 min.

Your Majesty,

With due respect, on behalf of the Global Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners in Bhutan (GCRPPB), taking the auspicious occasion of 75th Human Rights Day, I am writing to submit my sincere request for your kind consideration.

It is a universal fact that Bhutan has become a democratic country with a constitutional monarchy in place. I commend you for your leading role in this. And yet, despite these political changes, more than 50 political prisoners are languishing in Bhutan’s various prisons. 

Many of these political prisoners’ family members have already resettled in eight Western countries after spending many years in refugee camps in Nepal. Besides few, most of them have successfully gained citizenship in the countries they relocated to, and others are in the process. Some such families are still in Nepal’s refugee camps and desperately hope to reunite with their family members who are still serving sentences as political prisoners in Bhutan.

Despite living in economically developed countries and enjoying all necessary life amenities, the resettled families of the political prisoners feel incomplete and emotionally desolate. For decades, their loved ones have been serving prison terms in Bhutan, and they have remained disconnected for several years. The agonies of these families are more miserable and are challenging to describe.

The political prisoners are their dear husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, and friends. It has become increasingly difficult for them to live a modest life, no matter where and how they live.
The parents of those political prisoners have started dying without their wishes to see the face of their beloved son being fulfilled. And the children of those prisoners who were just born when their father was arrested have great desires to see them. They have been waiting for decades for opportunities to live the rest of their lives peacefully together.

With a heavy heart, I request that your good office gracefully use the constitutional Royal Prerogatives (per Article 2.16.c of the Constitution of Bhutan) to provide amnesty to their beloved family members. I would be ever grateful to Your Majesty if my honest and sincere appeal is duly considered.

I humbly look forward to Your Majesty’s positive response to my appeal.

Sincerely yours, 

Ram Karki


Global Campaign for The Release of Political Prisoners in Bhutan (GCRPPB)

The Hague, The Netherlands. 

[email protected]

Here is the list of Human Rights Watch verified 35 political prisoners and their details.

 NameDate of arrestSentenceLocation
1Rinzin WangdiJune 25 199932 years 6 monthsChemgang
2Tendzin Gawa Zangp o2009LifeSamdrup Jongkhar
3Kinley Penjor  Rabuna
4Kinley Gyeltshen  Rabuna
5Ram Lal Rawat1990LifeRabuna
6Bishnu Rai1990LifeRabuna
7Madhulal Budathoki1990LifeRabuna
8M B Bhujel1990LifeRabuna
9Lok Bdr Ghale1990LifeRabuna
10Sha Bdr Gurung 1990LifeRabuna
11Kumar Rai1990LifeRabuna
12Prem Rai1990LifeRabuna
13Ram Bdr RaiOctober 31, 199524 yearsChemgang
14Ganga Ram DhakalNovember 16, 1992LifeChemgang
15Bhakta Bdr RaiSeptember 23, 199336 yearsChemgang
16Moni Kumar PradhanNovember 29, 199943 yearsChemgang
17Prakash MongarMarch 21, 199936 yearsChemgang
18Harka Bahadur GurungJune 10, 199932 yearsChemgang
19Dambar Singh PulamiNov 23, 200143 yearsChemgang
20Yogi Prasad SubbaFebruary 9, 2008 Chemgang
21Kumar GautamFebruary 26, 2008LifeChemgang
22Hasta Bdr RaiFebruary 26, 2008LifeChemgang
23Suk Man MongarFebruary 26, 2008LifeChemgang
24Birkha Bdr (Basnet) ChhetriFebruary 26, 2008LifeChemgang
25Govinda NiroulaFebruary 26, 2008LifeChemgang
26Nandalal BasnetFebruary 26, 2008LifeChemgang
27Om Nath AdhikariFebruary 26, 2008LifeChemgang
28Khagendra KhanalFebruary 26, 2008LifeChemgang
29Aita Raj RaiFebruary 26, 2008LifeChemgang
30San Man GurungFebruary 26, 2008LifeChemgang
31Chatur Man TamangFebruary 26, 2008LifeChemgang
32Chandra Raj RaiJuly 24, 2008LifeChemgang
33Pratap Singh BhattaraiFebruary 14, 200818 yrsChemgang
34Chandra Man SubbaFebruary 9, 200818 yearsChemgang
35Bhim Bdr RaiMay 3, 20104 life termsChemgang