Global Campaign welcome the release of political prisoner Madhukar Monger

Global Campaign welcome the release of political prisoner Madhukar Monger

Kathmandu : Madhukar Monger, one of the 38 known Bhutanese political prisoners was released on August 9, after serving 30 years as a political prisoner in Chemgang Central Prison in Bhutan, Global Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners in Bhutan (GCRPPB) said.

Monger safely reached his brother’s home in the Bhutanese refugee camp Beldangi, Damak, Nepal, on Saturday after he was deported to India by the escorting Royal Bhutan Police on August 9. His wife, children and parents are all resettled in the USA. He found his younger brother and his family in the camp. He is taking shelter at his brother’s hut in Beldangi camp.

GCRPPB has requested Refugee Coordination Unit (RCU) to re-register him in the camp while also requesting UNHCR and the US government to further process his timely reunion with his wife, children and elderly parents in the US. GCRPPB has also asked the concerned camp management authority to arrange Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) therapy for Madhukar Monger immediately.

“GCRPPB is very happy to have one of its beloved brothers alive back after 30 years of rigorous imprisonment and torture. Still, the cruel act of the Bhutan Government in deporting him instantly to India despite his repeated appeal to allow him to stay in Bhutan for at least a few days to meet his friends and relatives is a gross violation of his fundamental rights,” said Global Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners in Bhutan (GCRPPB) in its statement. “We would like to condemn in the most substantial possible term and request International Community to question Bhutan for this inhuman treatment.”

GCRPPB has also condemned the fact that despite serving for 30 years as a political prisoner and getting released, Madhukar Monger was forced to pay 21000 Ngultrums Bhutanese currency as a fine and was forced to bear the cost of transportation till the Indo-Bhutan border in Phuentsholing Bhutan. “As per prison law, Bhutan must pay the cost of transporting the released prisoner to his destination before handing formally over to his family members. But in Mr Monger’s case, he was just dumped into India without bothering about his further welfare,” said Ram Karki, Coordinator of Global Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners in Bhutan.

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As per Monger, the situation of the political prisoners back in Chemgang Central Prison is very deplorable. Political prisoners, namely Damber Singh Pulami, Ganga Ram Dhakal, Mani Kumar Pradhan, Omnath Adhikari and San Man Gurung, are suffering from various chronic illnesses caused due to the rigorous torture during their early prison years. “Though the prison rules mention free medicines to the inmates, they are often asked to buy themselves including the doctor-prescribed medication,” Karki said.

The already scarcity-ridden ration was recently further decreased. As a result, the political prisoners are forced to survive with half a stomach of food. “I survived for 30 years of rigorous imprisonment with luck, but I feel apprehensive now about how my friends can survive there with less food and other facilities”, said Madhukar Monger. “The only reason that makes me and other friends live in prison is the hope of getting released soon, but that soon never comes, and in my case, 30 years became that soon,” said Monger.

Madhukar Mongar was arrested on 11 February 1994 and sentenced to 30 years for his involvement in political activities. Since then, he has been serving his sentence at Chemgang Central Prison.

Meanwhile, Global Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners in Bhutan has thanked Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, European Union, Nepali Media and others for supporting the campaign to help release Bhutanese political prisoners while also expressing the hope that such support continues till every Bhutanese political prisoner is safely released from the Bhutanese prisons.

GCRPPB has also reiterated its appeal to King of Bhutan to grant amnesty to all the Bhutanese political Prisoners without further delay. “Until all of them are safely released, GCRPPB requests that the Bhutan government provide them with enough rations, and proper and free medical treatment, including free-of-cost medicine,” said GCRPPB.

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