Five tourists, including one Australian, to be deported from Nepal

A protester holds a placard demanding better COVID-19 response plan by the government in Maitighar Mandala on Saturday. (Image: Barsha Shah)

Nepal government has decided to deport five foreigners and ban them from entering the nation for a period of two years for participating in an anti-government protest in Kathmandu.

On Saturday, Nepal Police had detained six foreigners from the vicinity of Maitighar Mandala, Kathmandu – three Chinese nationals, one Australian, one American, and a Norwegian. The Chinese, Australian, and American, who held tourist visas will be deported once airline flights resume from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Kathmandu. The Norwegian, who holds a marriage visa will not be deported, and was fined NRS 5,000.

Saturday’s protests were a part of a wider movement – demanding the government step up its COVID-19 response in the country. The activists had demanded the government be transparent about its health care spending, ramp up PCR tests, and better quarantine facilities, amongst others.

A protester holds a placard in Maitighar Mandala on Saturday. (Image: Barsha Shah)

While the protests were largely peaceful, Nepal Police detained the six foreign nationals – tourists in Nepal are barred from participating in any form of political protests.

Police later handed the arrested over to the Department of Immigration (DoI) for violating Immigration Rules (1994) which bars people on tourist visas from participating in protests.

Among the arrested, three Chinese nationals and one American national have been fined Rs 10,000 while one Australian national was fined Rs 20,000.

DoI found that the Australian citizen was involved in taking pictures and videos of the protest.

Protesters maintain physical distance while demanding a better COVID-19 response plan in Kathmandu. Image: Barsha Shah