HURON has been advocating the re-issuance of Refugee Cards for new born refugees and those who entered Nepal after 1989. HURON advocates for the rights of refugees to be assured in Nepal. Based on a study done by Human Rights Organization Nepal (2017), in coordination with all 12 camp in-charges’, there are 12, 331 Tibetan Refugees without Refugee Cards. Among 12,331 Tibetan Refugees in Nepal and 40% are under the age of 16 Years who are born in Nepal.

Capacity Building Programs

For the last three years, HURON District Chapters have been organizing Human Rights Educational Programs in special focus on Refugee & Human Rights, Gentleman’s Agreement and The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Taplejung, Solukhumbhu, Rasuwa, Gorkha, Sindhupalchowk, Kaski, Mustang, Humla, Kailali, Banke, Rupendehi, Parsa, Morang, Jhapa and Central District Chapters have conducted these Human Rights Educational Program.

The target groups of Human Rights Educational Programs are Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, and individuals from Civil Societies, Political Party Members, HURON Human Rights Defenders, Youths and other interested participants. The Nepal Police and Armed Police Forces are given special priorities in the bordering districts of China and India.

Proposed Bill For Refugee Protection Act In Nepal

A proposed act for protection of refugees was drafted by HURON, Legal Department of Tribhuwan University, INHURED International, PPR Nepal & Pro Public in 2011.

In accordance of Article 83(1) of Interim Constitution of Nepal, the proposal was supposed to be enacted by the parliament of Nepal. The proposed act to be called The Refugee Protection Act still remains unattended by the Government of Nepal.

The main sections deal with Eligibility for Refugee Status, Non Discrimination for Refugees, Rights of Refugees, Duties of Refugees, Application of Personal Law, Exclusion from Refugee Status, Access and Control of Camp, Forms and Establishment of Refugee Tribunals, Procedure and Determination of Refugee Status and Special Measures of Mass Influx.

Petitions, Legal Cases & Decisions

HURON has been involved in numerous cases pertaining to the welfare of Tibetan Refugees filing Habeas Corpus on behalf of unlawful detention of Tibetan in Nepal. Some cases which were politically motivated from the part of government are as follows:

On June 22, 2011, 12 Tibetan Refugees were unlawfully arrested by Nepal Police. The police had arrested Tibetan Refugees while that they were organizing religious prayers at Bouddha, Kathmandu. Advocate Indra Prasad Aryal of Human Rights Organization Nepal (HURON) submitted an application for writ of Habeas Corpus to the Supreme Court of Nepal on June 23, 2011. The Supreme Court of Nepal issued an order on July 10, 2011 to release all 12 Tibetan Refugees who were arrested by Nepal Police who were found to not have followed the legal proceedings properly. Also, the Supreme Court sent a memo to Home Ministry of negligence and lack of respect by Chief District Officer of Kathmandu and Deputy Superintendent of Police in this matter.

On March 10, 2011, 9 Tibetan Refugees were unlawfully arrested by Nepal Police. The police had arrested Tibetan Refugees while they were organizing religious prayers at Bouddha, Kathmandu. Advocate Indra Prasad Aryal of Human Rights Organization Nepal (HURON) submitted an application for writ of Habeas Corpus to the Supreme Court of Nepal on March 11, 2011. The Supreme Court issued the order to release all 9 Tibetan Refugees on March 18, 2011.

On June 11, 2008, NwangSangmo was unlawfully arrested by Nepal Police in Shankha Park. The police had arrested her from her house, without warrant, in plain clothes on the ground that she was facilitating Tibetan Refugees in organizing anti-China protests. Advocate Indra Prasad Aryal of Human Rights Organization Nepal (HURON) submitted an application for writ of Habeas Corpus to the Supreme Court of Nepal on March 11, 2011. The Supreme Court ordered release of NwangSangmo on the grounds that there was lack of evidence from the Nepal Police supporting their claim.

SonamKhampa (including 23 other Tibetan Refugees) were arrested from September 11 to September 13, 2011 in Humla and Sindhupalchowk districts. They had escaped from Tibet and were on the way to Dharmashala, India. All 23 Tibetan Refugees were in the process of being sent back to the Republic of China by the Government of Nepal. Advocate Indra Prasad Aryal filed for Writ of Habeas Corpus pressuring the Supreme Court to release all Tibetan Refugees. Since the Government of Nepal was scheduled to send back all arrested Tibetan Refugees back to China, the Supreme Court issued an interim order as per Article 41 (1) of Supreme Court Guidelines, 1992 to the Government of Nepal not to hand over the refugees to China. The Supreme Court released all 23 Tibetan Refugees on September 22, 2017. The Nepalese Immigration Department handed over all 23 Tibetan Refugees to United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR).

Apart from these significant cases, HURON also looks into the cases of Tibetan Refugees that are registered in the all Courts of Nepal. HURON has been attending to and providing legal support to Tibetan Refugees over the years.

Letters, Correspondence, Press Releases & Appeals

HURON has been issuing Letters, Press Releases’ and Press Statements’ to the Government of Nepal, demanding fair treatment of Tibetan Refugees in Nepal.

Human Rights Organization Nepal and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) has been in interaction over the years in the matter of Tibetan and Bhutanese Refugees with both parties issuing Letters, Press Releases’ and Press Statements’ pertaining to the welfare of Tibetan Refugees.

Human Rights Organization Nepal and Tibetan Refugee organizations have also been in interaction over the years. HURON has been acting the part of mediator and advocating for the rights of Tibetan Refugees at their behest. The Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office has also been offering their grievances with HURON whenever issues pertaining to Tibetan Refugees surface in Nepal.

Letter of Thanks from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nepal: On October 2011, in apropos to release of 23 Tibetans from Immigration Detention Center. UNHCR Country Representative, Ms. StephaneJaquemet extended her warmest appreciation to Human Rights Organization of Nepal (HURON); in particular, President, Mr. SudipPathak& Advocate, MrIndra Prasad Aryal of securing the release of all Tibetan Refugees. The appreciation to HURON staffs that were supportive of Tibetans under detention at Department of Immigration was also mentioned who were vital in quick release. Ms. Jaquemet thanked HURON for the assistance in this matter as individual communications with various high level Nepalese officials were vital for the release.

Some Glimpses of HURON with Tibetan Refugees

The Government of Nepal deports Three Tibetan Refugees: On June 2, 2010 two Tibetan men and one Tibetan woman were arrested by Nepal Police from Muchu, Humla district of Nepal. Against the Gentleman’s Agreement between the Government of Nepal and United Nations, these Tibetan Refugees were arrested and returned back to Tibet on June 3, 2010. Human Rights Organization of Nepal sent inquiry letters to Home Minister, Hon. BhimRawal, Inspector Police General (IGP) of Nepal, Mr. RameshchandraThakuri to reveal the state of affairs of these Tibetan Refugees. Human Rights Organization of Nepal appealed to the concerned authorities to show respect towards the refugees and record their situation and treatment by the police personnel.

Nepal Police Disrupts conduction of Primary Election to elect Tibetan Refugee Representatives: On October 3, 2010, Nepal Police under the pretext of anti-China movement around Kathmandu disrupted Tibetan preliminary polls and confiscated thousands of ballot boxes filled with votes. Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office informed Human Rights Organization of Nepal (HURON) of the incidents around Kathmandu and urged the support of HURON in retaining back the confiscated ballot boxes. HURON immediately sent a letter to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for support on this matter. Letters of Concern were sent the Government of Nepal to release the ballot boxes.

Tibetan Refugees go on Hunger Strike in Nepal: On July 26, 2010, Tibetan Refugees from seven refugee camps went on Hunger Strike demanding refugee cards and relief materials. Human Rights Organization of Nepal (HURON) sent letters of concern to Home Minister, Hon. BhimRawal and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to look into their genuine demands and provide health facilities to the peaceful protesters. On July 29, 2010 UNHCR Country Representative, Ms. StephaneJaquemet& HURON President, Mr. SudipPathak discussed the ongoing hunger strike and confirmed UNHCR would provide support to Tibetan Refugees under distress. HURON issued a Press Release citing the support.

Nepal Police interrupts 82nd Birthday Celebration of the Dalai Lama in Kathmandu: On July 5, 2017, HURON issued Press Statement concerning its displeasure over not allowing Tibetan Refugees to organize cultural program in Kathmandu. HURON members had held what was supposed to be a successful discussion with the Prime Minister, Mr. SherBahadurDeuba, Secretary for Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr. LokDarshanRegmi and Chief District Officer of Kathmandu, Mr. Bal Krishna Panti only days prior to the birthday celebration of the Dalai Lama to let the Tibetan Refugees observe their pious day.During the birthday celebration at a Gumba in Swyambhu, Nepal Police, inconspicuously sneaked in the venue and directed the celebration to be stopped.