China bullying Nepal to harrass Tibetans?

KATHMANDU: Tibetans in Nepal face heightened risks of being detained, beaten and even forcibly returned to China, as Kathmandu bows to growing diplomatic pressure from Beijing, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

The allegations, detailed in a new report based on the testimony of Tibetan  refugees, monks, activists and senior Nepalese officials, highlight the  intensified restrictions slapped on Tibetans in the Himalayan nation since 2008.

Nepal, home to around 20,000 Tibetans, is under huge pressure from its  giant neighbour China over the exiles, and has repeatedly said it will not  tolerate what it calls “anti-China activities”.

“Nepal…is succumbing to Chinese pressure to limit the flow of Tibetans  across the border and imposing restrictions on Tibetans in violation of its  legal obligations,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Tibetans face a de facto ban on protests, increased surveillance and even  reported attempts to force escapees back to China in contravention of  Kathmandu’s agreement with the UN’s refugee agency, the report said.

Although Nepal is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, it  operates a “Gentleman’s Agreement” with the UN under which it guarantees  Tibetans in transit safe passage to India, where they can obtain refugee  status.

As Beijing and Kathmandu have tightened border restrictions, the number of  exiles arriving in Nepal dropped to a record low of 171 in 2013, down from more  than 2,000 in 2007.

In one instance, a former home ministry official told the rights group that  local border police sent back Tibetans found in the border regions if they  believed they were not “legitimate refugees”.

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Posted by on April 2, 2014. Filed under Breaking News,Nepal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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