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Protesting Tibetan refugees arrested in Nepal

(Freedom Forum/IFEX) - On February 27, 2013 the police apprehended four Tibetan refugees from the Teaching Hospital area of Kathmandu, violating their right to peacefully gather and their freedom of mobility.

According to the police, they apprehended two men, Sonam Lama and Jimi Lama, and two women, Yangli Lama and Chhiring Lama. A public offence case has been filed against the arrested individuals. The Tibetan refugees were reportedly in the hospital area to peacefully gather and protest for a Tibetan monk, Doman Dukche, who had died at the hospital while receiving treatment.

Dukche had committed self-immolation at Bouddha, Kathmandu on February 13, 2013.

Moreover, the police arrested 47 Tibetans from Patan, Lalitpur, and released them in the evening of the same day.

Tibetan refugees in Nepal have been expressing their demands time and again and calling for a free Tibet.

The act of self-immolation by Dukche, although an extreme form of expression, may have been a result of the suppression of the exercise of his human rights which are not bound by any frontiers. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Freedom Forum concludes that as the right to peaceful protest has been curtailed, the result has been this violent form of expression - self-immolation. Freedom of expression must, therefore, always be respected.

Freedom Forum requests that the Nepalese government respect the human rights of refugees in accordance with international standards.

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