UN, Int’l NGOs concerned over welfare of Tibetan refugees in Nepal


March 6, 2012 8:59 am

GENEVA, 5 March: The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) today expressed concern for the welfare of Tibetans in Nepal at the UN Human Rights Council’s 19th Session in Geneva.
 
The Joint Oral statement by ICJ and HRW said, “The Government (Nepal) continues to obstruct peaceful gatherings by Tibetans and Nepalis of Tibetan origin, including detaining demonstrators in violation of orders from Nepal’s Supreme Court.”
 
The above statement was made during interactive debate on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)’s report on Nepal released on 16 December 2011.
 
The UN body monitoring and promoting human rights in Nepal was told to close its office on 8 December 2011 by the Government of Nepal.
 
The OHCHR report expressed concern about the welfare of the Tibetan refugees in Nepal.

“OHCHR-Nepal continued to be concerned at the manner in which the police, under clear direction from the Ministry of Home Affairs, have prevented members of the Tibetan community from exercising their rights to freedom of movement, assembly and association. On key ceremonial occasions, including religious festivals and the birthday of the Dalai Lama, the police have prevented the participation of the Tibetan community in peaceful events through arbitrary arrests and other inappropriate methods,” said the report. “In June 2011, 12 Tibetans were detained for nearly three weeks under the Public Offences Act, after displaying the Tibetan flag. Their release was ordered by the Supreme Court, confirming that their detention had been illegal. That was the fourth time, at least, over the past three years that members of Nepal’s Tibetan community have been detained under the Public Offences Act or the Public Security Act and subsequently released, following an appeal to the Supreme Court.”

There are about 20,000 Tibetans refugees living in Nepal. Most Tibetans escape from Tibet via Nepal.

Under international law, the Government of Nepal has obligations to ensure equal rights and justice for all ethnic groups, including Tibetans.