April 1, 2008

Nepal: Respect Tibetan Rights

Active ImageDemocratic norms in Nepal are being degraded by the worrying treatment meted out to Tibetan protestors in the isolated mountain kingdom.

Below is a press release issued by Human Rights Watch:

The Nepali police’s recent abuses of and threats to deport Tibetan protestors in Kathmandu betray the government’s own record of restoring rights, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said in a joint letter to the government today [1 April 2008].

The letter to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Ghimire identifies several key concerns about the treatment of Tibetans since demonstrations began on March 10 [2008]. Since that time, Nepali police have arrested and detained more than 1,500 people and preemptively arrested others they believe likely to participate in demonstrations, targeting in particular anyone they believe to be Tibetan. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are particularly concerned about increasing evidence of the police’s use of sexual and other forms of assault. Police have further threatened Tibetan protesters with deportation, which would also constitute a serious violation of Nepal’s international human rights obligations. 

Despite being a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, senior government officials have denied the rights to assembly and expression on the grounds that “anti-China activities” are prohibited in Nepal. 

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on the government of Nepal to immediately restore the rights to freedom of assembly, expression, and movement, by allowing Tibetans to go about their daily lives and carry out peaceful protests without fear of arrests or threat of deportation.

Note:

To read the joint letter, please click here.

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