January 7, 2010Bhutanese and Burmese refugees fled an oppressive regime or have been resettled from refugee camps across the globe. But unfortunately, once here, they're facing more oppression: In the past year, both Bhutanese and Burmese students were singled out and attacked in the Denver area. The first attacks were reported last spring; on December 11, a group of Bhutanese students were beaten and robbed after getting off a bus and one required emergency room treatment. The Denver Police Department distributed special cell phones to Bhutanese that are set to dial 911 in case of future attacks, but the community understandably would prefer the violence just stop. In the Denver Post story following the attacks, one Bhutanese refugee said:
"If they kill me and my son, what will my daughter and wife do?" said Dambar Bhujel, father of an 18-year-old victim, who is now wary of letting his son go to school. "At first, I was happy to come to the United States. After one year, I'm feeling very bad and I don't want to stay longer. But we can't go back to Bhutan and we can't go back to Nepal," Bhujel said. "They told us America was secure."