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Saudi detainees meet PM

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
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Ten Nepali migrant workers who were wrongly charged with murder and jailed in Saudi Arabia for seven years meets Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal at Baluwatar on Tuesday. Pic: Om Astha Rai

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has promised compensation for 10 Nepali migrant workers who were wrongly charged with murdering an Indian citizen and jailed in Saudi Arabia for seven years.

After waiting for days for an appointment with the PM the innocent migrant workers, who were freed and sent home last month, finally met Dahal and sought help to start their lives anew.

Dahal assured that he will look into the matter and provide compensation for the lost years. Asked if he will talk to the Saudi government on this issue, he replied, “Yes, I will.”

Read also: Seven years in Jeddha jail

The workers had complained that the Nepal Embassy in Saudi Arabia ignored their repeated pleas for help, and reprimanded them for being a nuisance. Dahal also promised to look into this matter, and take action against the embassy staff if they were found guilty in dereliction of duty.

In February 2010, Bhim Chimariya, Krishna Pariyar, Shree Kumar Rai, Bir Bahadur Budhathoki, Kesh Bahadur Nepali, Som Tamang, Bhakta Bahadur Drajee, Ram Lama, Dipendra Sherma, Chakra Bahadur Gurung and Umesh Shrestha were arrested by Saudi police on the charge of murdering a man from India’s Uttar Pradesh.

One of them, Umesh Shrestha, died after prolonged torture. His body was never sent home. Police did not find evidence to prove their involvement in the murder, but they were still jailed for seven years.

The Nepal Embassy did not hire a lawyer to defend them in the Saudi courts, and they had to live in fear of being executed every day. They were finally released in December, and sent home. They want to stand up on their own, but say they need help to rebuild their lives.

Watch video of PM Dahal promising compensation to Saudi returnees

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