Teacher jailed on charges of insulting Islam is freed by Qatar


Dorje Gurung hugs his family member after landing in Kathmandu on may 13, 2013. (Alka Shrestha)

Dorje Gurung, the Nepali teacher who was imprisoned last week in Qatar on charges of insulting Islam, has been freed following an international outcry. Gurung, a chemistry teacher at the prestigious Qatar Academy, was fired after an exchange with his students last month. On Sunday, Qatari authorities allowed him to leave the country, from which he has returned to Kathmandu.

Following his arrest last week, Gurung's friends and former students from around the world, including in the United States (Gurung is a graduate of Grinnell College, in Iowa), formed a petition asking the government of Qatar to release him. Supporters also launched a Facebook page called Free Dorje Gurung.

The school teacher, on landing safely in Kathmandu, posted to the Free Dorje Gurung Facebook page, "I still can find no words to thank you enough, words that sufficiently express my own and family’s gratitude, for the gift the thousands of you have given me. The gift of freedom! (Ask any of my friends and colleagues Qatar Academy who received me upon my release yesterday afternoon—I was just a wreck. All I could do was cry and bawl."

Gurung is now reunited with his family, where he says he hopes to start a school for neglected Nepali children.

Anup Kaphle is the Post's digital foreign editor. He has an M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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Max Fisher | May 13, 2013