Update on prisoner Pulami’s health

Global Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners in Bhutan (GCRPPB) is pleased to announce that Damber Singh Pulami, an ICRC recognised political prisoner number 000397 who was seriously sick, has been recovering. Our source in Thimphu said that Mr Pulami had been discharged from Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital in Thimphu, where he was admitted to its ICU on 17 May 2022. The source informed us that Mr Pulami received the best available medical treatment and is now recuperating at a local Basic Health Unit under the constant supervision of a health assistant. 

GCRPPB, in early June 2022, had appealed to The king and prime minister of Bhutan to ensure the best available medical treatment to the ICU admitted Pulami. It had further requested Bhutan to grant amnesty to Pulami after he is fully recovered and make a proper arrangement to reunite him with his wife and children in their resettled country United States of America.

In its 2004 annual report on Human Rights in Bhutan, US State Department noted that a Bhutanese political activist, Pulami, a registered Bhutanese Refugee from Timai Camp in eastern Nepal, was arrested by the security forces in Bhutan in May 2001. The report further mentioned that he entered Bhutan to check on the internal resettlement of Non-Nepali speaking people in the South. He was falsely charged with extortion, kidnapping, murder, and subversive activities.

Pulami was detained at Chemgang Central Prison in Thimphu since his arrest. He was inflicted with inhuman physical and mental torture and became seriously sick on several occasions but has survived on all such occasions. 

His wife, Sabitra Pulami, was resettled in the United States along with their two sons and one daughter in 2011. During her last visit to see her husband, brokered by ICRC before flying for resettlement, she was shocked to see the deteriorating health condition of her erstwhile healthy husband. She said that her husband was looking pale and malnourished.

Pulami’s father, Amber Bahadur Pulami, died 25 years ago in the refugee camp. His mother, Ram Maya Pulami, died in 2020 in the US. They had expressed their last wishes to see their son’s face before death. Their last wishes remained unfulfilled for all to come, said Mrs Pulami with tears in her eyes.

GCRPPB appreciates and thanks the royal government of Bhutan for providing proper medical treatment to Mr Pulami. Furthermore, GCRPPB reiterates its appeal to His Majesty the King of Bhutan to have mercy and grant timely amnesty to Mr Pulami and all the other political prisoners languishing for many decades in several prisons in Bhutan. As per GCRPPB database, there are still 49 political prisoners in Bhutan. However, it is estimated through the unconfirmed report that around 100 political prisoners still serve sentences in various prions in Bhutan. 

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