The international community continues to express concern over the
arrests of peaceful demonstrators and Tibetan community activists by
security forces in Nepal. U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Tom
Casey issued a statement following the detention of three Tibetan
community leaders, Ngawang Sangmo, Tashi Dolma, and Kelsang Chung on
June 19th. The three activists are being held without charge by Nepali
authorities. The U.S., said Mr. Casey, is calling for their immediate
and unconditional release.
Hundreds of Tibetan refugees have
also been arrested in protests outside the Chinese consulate in Nepal.
Nepali authorities have reportedly used excessive force in making the
arrests. “The ongoing harsh treatment of peaceful protesters during
their arrests by the Nepali police is distressing,” said Mr. Casey. He
said the U.S. understands and respects Nepal’s national security
concerns and the importance of protecting diplomatic premises. Mr.
Casey also said that the United States urges Nepal “to ensure the
humane treatment of peaceful protesters and to adhere to its
international human rights obligations as Nepal continues on its path
as a democratic nation.”
A joint statement issued by diplomatic
missions to Nepal of Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, the European
Union, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States also
expressed strong concern over the detention of the Tibetan community
leaders and the reported mistreatment of protesters by Nepali police.
the rights to free speech and assembly, including the right to conduct
peaceful public demonstrations, is an important test for Nepal’s new
government. Nepal recently abolished its two-hundred-forty-year-old
monarchy and established a Constituent Assembly. U.S. Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Evan Feigenbaum called it
a “very historic leap for Nepal.” But political violence remains a
concern. “Our basic message to every party in Nepal,” said Mr.
Feigenbaum, “is that the degree to which we can work with parties in
Nepal will depend very directly on the degree to which they continue to
embrace the political process and abandon violence.”
Nepali security forces too need to use restraint and respect the human rights of Nepali citizens and foreigners alike.