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ACHR in Media
Index: REF/NEP06/10/04
6 October 2004

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba
Office of the Prime Minister
Government of Nepal
Singha Durbar, Kathmandu
Fax: +977 1 4 227 765 / +977 1 227286


Subject: Request to hand over detained Tibetan refugees to the UNHCR

Dear Prime Minister,

The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) is writing to Your Honour to hand over at least 27 Tibetan refugees to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who have been detained by Nepalís security forces on 4 October 2004. The refuges fled from Tibet and entered Nepal via Sagarmatha passage in Namche area. The detained refugees have been handed over to the district administration office on 5 October 2004 and are being handed over to Immigration Department soon.

Nepal must abide by its obligations under customary international law to protect the Tibetan refugees from being forcibly returned home and hand them over to the UNHCR to verify their claim for refugee status.

The Asian Centre for Human Rights remains concerned about the regular deportations of the Tibetan refugees who cross the international border to escape from persecution by the security forces in China. On 13 January 2004, three Tibetan refugees, including one minor, were handed over to Chinese border police by Nepalese officials at the Friendship Bridge border post at Dram. There were three incidents of forcible repatriation of Tibetan refugees by Nepalese officials in 2003.

The Asian Centre for Human Rights appreciates the position taken by the Government of Nepal with regard to the Bhutanese refugees. It is essential that Nepal does not discriminate against the Tibetan refugees on the basis of their ethnic origin and refoule them to China in clear violation of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and Article 3(2) of the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

We fervently appeal to Your Honour to develop a consistent policy on the Tibetan refugees to hand over all the Tibetan asylum seekers to the UNHCR for processing of their asylum claims.

With respectful regards,

I remain,

Yours sincerely

Suhas Chakma


Copy to:

Mr. Justice Nain Bahadur Khatri
Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission
Pulchowck, Lalitpur
Tel: +977 1 5 547974 or 525659 or 547975
Fax: +9771 5 547973

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