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Stop 'excessive' force against Tibetans: HRW

A leading international human rights watchdog has asked Nepal to stop "doing Beijing's bidding".

world Updated: Mar 20, 2008 12:42 IST

A leading international human rights watchdog has asked Nepal to stop "doing Beijing's bidding," and urged Kathmandu to stop use of "excessive" force against Tibetan protestors.

"The Nepali government which has come to power opposing King Gyanendra's autocratic rule should reaffirm commitment to freedom of assembly, association and expression rather than arresting and harassing Tibetan protesters, activists and journalists," the Human Rights Watch said.

There have been several protests by Tibetan exiles in Katmandu in the past week, the latest on Wednesday when about 100 Tibetan protesters attempted to rally at the UN headquarters to demand an investigation into China's recent crackdown in Tibet.

"The police are violently dispersing peaceful Tibetan protesters in Kathmandu and arbitrarily detaining increasing numbers," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

"How can a government that came to power on a wave of public protests against an authoritarian regime justify crushing peaceful protests by Tibetans?," he said adding, "Now is the time for the Nepali government to protect Tibetans, not to do the bidding of Beijing."

Human Rights Watch said when questioned about the reason for arrests of protesters, a district superintendent of police informed, that the government policy is that there cannot be protests against China in Nepal.