[JURIST] Nepalese officials said Friday that they had arrested more than 100 Tibetans for allegedly trying to take over the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu. Chinese media said the protesters were trying to use Nepal's vulnerability as a newly-formed republic [JURIST report] in order to push their "separatist" agenda [Xinhua report], but Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report [HRW materials; press release] Thursday saying that Nepal has been arresting peaceful Tibetan protesters without cause because of pressure from the Chinese:
At least 8,350 arrests of Tibetans were made between March 10 and July 18 (many people were arrested more than once). While the frequency of protests has diminished since May, protests have continued to take place on an almost weekly basis, with continuing abuses by Nepali authorities in response. Few of those arrested have been provided with a reason for their detention and virtually all have been released without charge.Reuters has more.
Human Rights Watch has directly observed many of the Tibetan demonstrations in Kathmandu and the police response to them. From March 10 to 28, Nepali police consistently responded to the demonstrations with unnecessary or excessive force, using lathis to beat protesters in the head and body, and by kicking and punching them. Police officers have sexually assaulted Tibetan women during arrest. Many women and girls have reported male police officers groping them and kicking or hitting them with a lathi in the groin.
In April Nepalese police detained more than 500 [JURIST report] Tibetan monks, refugees, and other protesters near the Chinese Embassy [embassy website, in English] in Kathmandu as demonstrations continued against China's repression of pro-Tibet protests [BBC backgrounder]. In March the country conducted a sweep [JURIST report] in which hundreds were taken into Nepalese police custody. Since the demonstrations began, the local office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] has criticized Nepal [press release, PDF] for its actions against protesters and for restricting the right to peaceful assembly.