Global Campaign for the Release of Political Prisoners in Bhutan (GCRPPB), a Hague-based exile Bhutanese Human Rights body that has been campaigning for the early and unconditional release of Bhutanese Political Prisoners since its formation in 2009, welcomes the initiative taken by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) towards pressuring Bhutan to release political prisoners without further delay. HRW, in its report titled Bhutan: Free Long-Term Political Prisoners: Held for Decades After Torture, Unfair Trials on 14 March 2023, published from New York, said that they had verified the details of the 37 Bhutanese Political Prisoners who have been languishing in several prisons inside Bhutan for several decades due to their involvement in Human Rights activism. It further said they were detained without fair trial and violated major international laws demanding immediate release with honour and dignity.
Meanwhile, GCRPPB urges Amnesty International, UN Human Rights Council, European Union, US State Department and all the other major international bodies to join HRW to pressure Bhutan towards releasing all the political prisoners from the country’s prisons serving sentences for decades.
GCRPPB urges Bhutan not only to release all the known and unknown political prisoners without delay but also demand that it make public the details of all the country’s political prisoners and make general the whereabouts of 3 missing political prisoners, Mr Bom Bahadur Tiwari, Mr Harka Bahadur Sapkota and Mr Loknath Acharya. Tiwari and Acharya were senior Bhutanese Human Rights Activists arrested in the early 1990s and 2014 respectively whereas Sapkota was a businessman from Gelephu arrested in the early 1990s. Sapkota was last seen in Thimphu hospital in 1991.