Health situation of Bhutanese hunger strikers worsens.

UPDATE:
Today, November 21 I received information that 4 woman are currently being treated in the Damak AMDA hospital for low blood sugar. This is an indication of the rapidly deteriorating medical condition of them.

Also information was released that yesterday officials from human rights organizations and Nepal government visited the hunger strikers to persuade an end of the hunger strike. The women refused and told that they are still determined to continue their now over 150 hours long hunger strike, if necessary until death when their demands for granting them refugee status by the Nepalese government are not met.

Also today detailed information became available proving the unclear reasons for not granting a formal refugee status underlining the just cause the hunger strikers are fighting for. This information will be released if needed and is available at the Bhutan News Service and me.

Currently attempts are being made to gain further interest from the global Bhutanese community, human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch, politicians, NGO’s, press and others through internet communication on Facebook and direct email.

When not familiar with the situation of the Bhutanese women who are on a hunger strike till death in the Beldangi 2 camp in Nepal, please read this.

The situation of the hunger strikers is worsening. Currently most of them are in bad physical condition, five of them have been hospitalized in the Beldangi 2 Health Care Center for observation. In the meanwhile there is no progress known concerning their legal status from the side of the Nepal government.

photos: courtesy of http://www.bhutannewsservice.com

When the situation does not change we have to fear that this hunger strike is going to end in a tragedy.

If you want to support the hunger strikers in their effort to get refugee status (and thereby the rights of the other refugees from Bhutan like health care, education, food and the possibility for third country resettlement), please write and email or letter to your member of parliament, the Nepal ambassador or consul or the Nepal government. Addresses are to be found through Google.

If you want to follow the developments in the Beldangi 2 camp hunger strike, visit www.bhutannewsservice.com. The following is a republication of their latest newsitem:

The Human Rights Organization of Bhutan (HUROB) has expressed worry over the deteriorating heath conditions of exiled Bhutanese women, who have been undergoing fast-unto-death since Tuesday. Issuing a press statement on Saturday, HUROB Chairperson S.B.Subba requested the Government of Nepal and UNHCR to consider the case and meet their demands at least on humanitarian ground once for all.

“It may be over stepping of the policy, the kind humanitarian gesture would be highly appreciated and the refugees will remain ever grateful,” said he.

According to the HUROB, such kindness from the concerned authority would relieve the non-registered Bhutanese refugees forever from their daily trepidation and psychological fear of insecurity of the future of their children and means of survival. Subba has warmed that if the problem is left unaddressed, there is fear of 3,749 refugees becoming stateless, and that will become a concern for the international community.

Meanwhile, the Bhutanese Refugee Representative Repatriation Committee (BRRRC) has asked the Government of Nepal to end the ongoing hunger strike by fulfilling their demands on moral grounds. Issuing a press statement on Sunday, BRRRC Chair Dr Bhampa Rai said, demands put forwarded by hunger strikers must be immediately addressed considering the worsening health conditions.

Meanwhile, a group of rights defenders on Saturday requested protesting women to bring their hunger strike to an end. However, protestors said, they have decided to sacrifice their lives unless their demands are met.

For anyone who doubts the seriousness of the issue that these women and many local human rights workers raise, just look at this table from the UNHCR Nepal website. The table lists all Bhutanese refugees as being taken care for. Which is in reality something that is and should be challenged.

table: sourced by the UNHCR Nepal website

Alice