New Delhi, Sept.15 : Asian Centre for Human Rights urged the visiting Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda to protect the rights of the Tibetan refugees in Nepal and refrain from refoulement of any Tibetan refugee to China.
About 30 percent of the 20,000 Tibetan refugees living in four camps in Pokhara, Nepal who entered Nepal illegally or were never granted a refugee certificate face imprisonment and deportation in an attempt to satisfy China. Altogether 132 Tibetan activists have been arrested since 9 September 2008.
"Nepal has turned into a poodle of China." - stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
"As a ratifying party to the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT), Nepal has the legal obligation to ensure that no Tibetan refugee is repatriated to China where they face the risks of torture, inhumane and degrading treatment. Article 3(1) of the CAT prohibits expulsion, return ("refouler") or extradition of any person to any State where there are substantial grounds for believing that s/he would be in danger of being subjected to torture," Chakma added.
ACHR also accused Nepal of following a racist policy against the Tibetan refugees.
"Nepal not only tolerates similar protests by the Bhutanese refugees but the Communist of Nepal (Maoists) has included the issue of Bhutanese refugees in its Common Minimum Programme. The racist policy of the Maoists-led government against the Tibetan refugees who face arrest, imprisonment and deportation could not have been more conspicuous," he said.
ACHR reminded Prime Minister Prachanda that a number of Maoists cadres too were extradited by India to Nepal and they were subjected to torture by the Royal Nepal Army. ACHR urged Prachanda to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms including the right to peaceful freedom of association and assembly of all refugees in Nepal.