Nepali activists submit letter to Russian Embassy demanding repatriation and halt in recruitment of Nepali citizens

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Kathmandu: Human Rights activists of Nepal on Monday submitted a letter to the Russian Embassy addressing President Vladimir Putin demanding a cease of attack on Ukraine and the repatriation of Nepali citizens recruited in the Russian Army.

Organized by the Human Rights and Peace Society (HURPES) Nepal, dozens of activists stood in line near the embassy of the Russian Federation flashing placards and reading demands. The latest round of demonstrations comes in the wake of the news about hundreds of Nepali citizens being recruited by Russia to fight against Ukraine in the ongoing war since February 24, 2022.

“The Russian Government should return them safely back to Nepal and to create the pressure we stood here (near the embassy today). In the letter submitted to them, we have mentioned it, the Human Rights and Peace Society always has stood against war, 712 days have already passed since the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine. Stop the war, it has threatened humanity, increased human toll,” Ram Krishna Baral, one of the demonstrators told ANI.

With the formal start of the war between Ukraine and Russia, the latter tried to evade and capture areas of Ukraine, and Russia started to recruit foreign nationals for its military.

As per the reports, recruits from foreign nations are promised a hefty amount and citizenship after a certain period.
The scheme of Russia to recruit foreign nationals got overwhelming admission for which Nepali youths also travelled to various parts of Europe and got into Russia to get recruited.

Hundreds of Nepali are believed to have been recruited into the Russian Army, at least a dozen were confirmed killed and scores injured at the time of deployment along the front line of war.

“Russia doesn’t call the ongoing situation a war, they rather claim it to be an operation intending to save the life of their citizens. We didn’t enter into that side of the discussion, rather we asked them about their concerns about Nepali citizens (recruited) there, they asked us if it would be good to go through the channel of Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nepali Embassy in Russia,” Baral briefed about the reply they were given upon submitting the letter to the Russian Embassy.

The escalating unlawful engagement of Nepali youths within the Russian Army has led the government to escalate warnings against travel to Russia for military involvement. Travelers to Russia are mandated to obtain a No Objection Letter (NOL) from the Consular Service Department.

Additionally, Nepali nationals residing abroad and planning visits to Russia must secure an NOL from the respective embassies located in their countries. The Foreign Ministry of the Himalayan Nation also has been asking the public not to sign up for recruitment through illegal or informal channels in any of the security forces around the globe.
Nepal only allows its citizens to get recruited in British and Indian Forces under the bilateral agreement signed with these countries.

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