‘Nepalese police action on Tibetan protesters excessive’

March 20th, 2008 - 5:33 pm ICT by admin  

Kathmandu, March 20 (DPA) An international human rights organization Thursday described Nepalese police action on Tibetan protesters as “excessive” and called for respect of rights to peaceful assembly. The US based Human Rights Watch called on the government to halt arbitrary arrests, detention, harassment and the use of excessive force to silence Tibetan demonstrators.

The appeal came amid continuing protests by Tibetan exiles in Kathmandu that have led to violence with police firing tear gas and charging the demonstrators with batons.

“The police are violently dispersing peaceful Tibetan protesters in Nepal’s capital and arbitrarily detaining increasing numbers,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“How can a government that came to power on a wave of public protests against an authoritarian regime justify crushing peaceful protests by Tibetans?” Adams said.

Human Rights Watch said it was concerned about the ill treatment of Tibetan detainees whom the group said were kicked, punched, slapped and verbally abused during detention.

It also said the detainees were being threatened with deportation to Tibet.

“The threat of detention and deportation to China is being used to silence peaceful dissent in Nepal,” said Adams. “Arbitrary arrests of Tibetans should cease immediately.”

The Nepalese government denied that it had violated human rights while clearing up the protests.

“Nepal will not allow anti-Chinese activities in its soil,” Home Ministry spokesman Mod Raj Dotel said. “Claims of excessive force by police or threat to repatriate some of the refugees back to Tibet are simply not true.”

On Wednesday, Nepal said it had increased security along major border crossing points from Tibet to check “illegal infiltration of Tibetans after violence in Lhasa”.

Despite political change in Nepal, the government has said its one-China policy with Tibet being an integral part of China will continue.

Many Tibetans who arrived in Nepal before Dec 31, 1989 are officially regarded as refugees but the government has refused to register Tibetan asylum seekers arriving after that time as refugees.

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