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Nepal police arrest 50 in pro-Tibet protest

[JURIST] Nepalese police arrested 50 protesters Tuesday after roughly 200 Tibetan exiles demonstrated near the country's UN headquarters in Katmandu, demanding a UN investigation into China's recent crackdown against pro-Tibet protests [BBC backgrounder]. The protesters, who were arrested after refusing to leave the site, began a hunger strike early Tuesday and were later joined by monks, forming the third demonstration this week [AP report] by Tibetan exiles against Chinese rule. Chinese state media later reported that 105 protesters in Tibet itself had surrendered to police [AP report].

The protests, which began last Monday, escalated into violence Friday as protesters attacked police vehicles, non-Tibetans migrants, and businesses. On Sunday, the Chinese government blocked Internet access [JURIST report] to the video-sharing website YouTube after videos of the recent government crackdown appeared on the site. Rights groups have criticized China for ongoing human rights violations [HRW materials] targeted at Tibetans, and many call for the total independence [advocacy website] of the currently "semi-autonomous" region. The Dalai Lama, who accused China Sunday of committing "cultural genocide" [JURIST report] in Tibet, has encouraged the protests but said he will step down [AFP report] if the violence worsens. AP has more.

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