Washington DC: US Congressmen James P. McGovern (D-MA) and Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, have released a letter to the Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal urging the Nepalese government to fully protect the human rights of Tibetans in Nepal.
The Co-Chairs were joined by six other Members of Congress including Chairman Eliot L. Engel and Ranking Member Michael T. McCaul of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Chairman David Price and Co-Chair Vern Buchanan of the House Democracy Partnership, and Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Steve Chabot.
The letter expressed concern about the deportation back to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) of six Tibetans who crossed into Nepal from the PRC in September, in apparent violation of Nepal’s obligation of non-refoulement. A crackdown on the Tibetan community around the time of the October visit to Nepal by PRC President Xi Jinping, the worrying prospect of an extradition treaty between Nepal and the PRC, the increasingly stringent restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression suffered by Tibetans in Nepal, and the essentially stateless status of many members of the Tibetan community were also raised.
The Members of Congress urged Nepal to halt deportations of Tibetans, refrain from the use of preventive detention and register all Tibetan refugees living in Nepal. These steps would ensure that Tibetans’ human rights would be fully protected in keeping with Nepal’s international obligations and its moral imperatives as a multiethnic, multifaith society.
The signed version is available [here].