Kathmandu: The Global Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners in Bhutan (GCRPPB) has welcomed the release of Tek Nath Rizal on bail on Wednesday.
The GCRPPB is a global initiative formed in 2019 to advocate for the safe release of Bhutanese political prisoners and based in The Hague, Netherlands.
Rizal, who was arrested in May for alleged involvement in the fake Bhutanese refugee scandal in Nepal, served six months imprisonment.
“Since his arrest, GCRPPB strongly believed that leader Tek Nath Rizal was innocent. Still, due to his strong initiative to become a whistleblower after sensing the criminal activities in the name of Bhutanese refugees among the high-ranking officials in the Nepal government, he was falsely implicated,” a statement issued by GCRPPB reads.
GCRPPB, in the release, expressed its faith in the judiciary of Nepal and wholly hopes that Rizal will finally be given a clean chit on the allegation of his involvement in the scandal.
GCRPPB also thanked lawyer Raj Kumar Suwal and his team for defending Rizal’s case in the courts and successfully getting his release on bail.
“Rizal is an internationally renowned leader of the Bhutanese refugee movement and was a former high-profile political prisoner of Bhutan. With his arrest, the movement was demoralised, and with his release on bail today, GCRPPB hopes that this movement has been rejuvenated,” the statement reads.
GCRPPB also reiterates its appeal to the international community to pressurise Bhutan to release all its political prisoners without further delay, and those already released and living in the refugee camps be allowed to reunite with their families in their resettlement country.
Furthermore, GCRPPB hopes that the government of Nepal and UNHCR will expedite work to resolve the Bhutanese refugee issue by activating and implementing the three durable solutions per the refugees’ wishes: repatriation, resettlement and local integration. Until those solutions are found, GCRPPB requests that relief agencies resume providing enough relief supplies, including health and education facilities, to all those genuine Bhutanese refugees in the camps.