Nepal arrests 100 Tibetan protestors, UN expresses concerns

March 25th, 2008 - 5:12 pm ICT by admin  

Kathmandu, March 25 (DPA) Nepalese police Tuesday arrested over 100 Tibetan demonstrating in front of China’s embassy’s visa office in the capital Kathmandu amid growing concerns by the United Nations over the detentions. Tuesday’s demonstrations were the first by Tibetan exiles in Nepal targeting the Chinese embassy since the start of their campaign against Chinese rule in their homeland nearly two weeks ago.

Police said they detained the demonstrators after they refused to move away from the Chinese visa office.

Police used mild force to break up the protestors and pushed them into waiting police vans, witnesses said.

The new arrests came as the UN human rights office in Nepal expressed alarm over growing number of arrests of Tibetan demonstrators by Nepalese authorities.

The Office of High Commission for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) said it was “deeply concerned at the arbitrary arrests and detentions of several hundred individuals.”

“These actions by police violate individuals’ basic rights to freedom from arbitrary detention and freedom of movement, in addition to impairing the individuals’ rights to peaceful assembly and expression,” the UN agency said.

OHCHR-Nepal also said it was concerned by reports that some people had been arrested on the streets of Kathmandu on the basis of their appearance and on the assumption that they hold certain political opinions and might participate in protests.

“Such arrests constitute a form of unlawful discrimination. Moreover, the practice of widespread arrests without charges is against the spirit of a democratic society governed by human rights and the rule of law,” said Richard Bennett, the representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal.

Nepal has more than 20,000 Tibetans concentrated mainly in the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara in western Nepal.

The figure does not include Tibetans who arrived in the country after 1990 because the Nepalese government stopped registering them as refugees.

Human rights organisations say about 3,000 Tibetans arrive in Nepal each year crossing dangerous mountain passes and risking their lives to flee Chinese rule.

The Nepalese government has repeatedly said it considers Tibet to be a part of China and will not tolerate anti-Chinese activities.

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