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Germany Urged To Grant Asylum To Bhutan Refugee

Association of Press Freedom Activists Bhutan

September 24, 2008
Press Statement

APFA-Bhutan, which has been advocating for freedom of speech and expression in Bhutan since 2003, expresses serious concern over the attempt deportation of Mr. Tandin Wangdi by German authority.

APFA-Bhutan would like to stress that Wangdi, who was taking refuge in Germany since 2003, could have obtained legal Refugee Status according to Refugee Convention 1951. It is contradictory to know that he was denied of Refugee Status by the concerned authority that granted political asylum to his father Tshering Penjore in 2002.

Respecting Wangdi's universal right to reunion with his family, APFA-Bhutan strongly urges the concerned authority to scientifically verify the relation between Tshering Penjore and Tandin Wangi to grant political asylum.

APFA-Bhutan would like to inform concerned authority that it is not safe for Wangdi to return to Bhutan, as per information we received from the party he is associated with, where hundreds of political prisoners are still within the iron bars. Thus, we ask for reconsideration and review of his asylum procedures instead of deportation to Bhutan.

APFA-Bhutan is really serious to know that Tandin Wangdi, who managed to enter Switzerland illegally from Germany, was forced to escape the scene for his safety due to the fear of deportation to Bhutan, that was fixed for July 9, 2008.

APFA-Bhutan appeals the US Embassy in Kathmandu which is leading the resettling core-countries, the UN Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN Refugee Agency to pressurize the Government of Switzerland for granting Refugee Status instead of returning him to Germany where his life is not safe.

APFA-Bhutan expresses a deep concern over such a serious incidence to a Bhutanese refugee when several European countries and America are taking thousands of fellow-countrymen under resettlement since repatriation to Bhutan seems impossible before a congenial environment is created.

ENDS

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