Free Bhutanese refugees: AI

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 8:

Amnesty International (AI) has called on the government and security forces to make public the whereabouts of five Bhutanese refugees, treat them humanely and release them immediately. AI in its appeals to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, the army and the police, has expressed concern over the illegal detention of Bhutanese refugees – Phulmaya Dahal, 19, Chandra Bahadur Prasai, 22, Debraj Pradhan, 35, Dilliram Rizal, 30, and Gangaram Lamitaray, 40. Calling on the authorities to release the victims unconditionally unless charged with a recognisable criminal offence, AI has said security forces are reportedly detaining them since June 2 and 3. "The four men and a woman are being held in incommunicado detention and may not have access to relatives, lawyers or medical attention. They appear to have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in Maoist activities," the release said.