|By Tenzin Choephel
A Tibetan monk protester injured during the peaceful protest at Pulchowk, Kathmandu (Photo by Tenzin Choephel / Phayul.com)
Kathmandu, March 17: Nepal Police today used over 10 rounds of tear gas on peaceful Tibetan demonstrators in front of the United Nations Office to disperse them.
53 Tibetans, including women and nuns were arrested at around 10:00am in front of the UN House at Pulchowk. They were detained and later released at around 7:00pm; of them two were seriously injured by excessive use of force by the Nepali Police.
This is the fourth time that Tibetans have been demonstrating on the streets of Kathmandu beginning since last Monday, and at the UN House for the second time.
Tenzin Namgyal, one of the Tibetan protestors said, "We will continue to protest until China stop killing our fellow brothers and sisters in Tibet".
Eleven Tibetans among the protestors are on hunger strike since yesterday, some of their demands include stopping killings in Tibet, start dialogue in Tibet and release the Panchen Lama.
Nepali police intervenes as Tibetans hold peaceful protest at the eastern wall of the UN House at Pulchowk, Kathmandu (Photo by Tenzin Choephel / Phayul.com)
This morning at around 9:00am, some two hundred Tibetans gathered in front of the UN House and staged sit-in protest before they were forcibly driven away using excessive force within an hour or so.
Police used batons to drive away the protesters and many were arrested and taken away in Police vans and trucks.
Hundreds more Tibetans later regrouped and protested again and managed to convince the Police. Tibetans put up their hands shouting "we want peace".
But this time, police allowed Tibetans to sit on roadside about 100 meters away from the UN House and told Tibetans that they could sit there until 2:00pm.
More Tibetans continue to join them. But when police ordered Tibetans protestors to leave around 1:00pm, Tibetans refused to do so.
Police then started firing tear gas and attacking with batons. In about half an hour, Tibetans were driven away out of the UN Office site. The incident left some of the protestors seriously injured and had to be taken to hospital for treatment.
All those arrested were taken to the Metropolitan Armed Police Force Group No.2 and detained there for nearly 8 hours before being released. One detainee said that the Police wanted to take picture of everyone but the protesters effectively refused to allow them to do so.
"I urge the (Nepali) government to respect its obligations under international human rights law and to uphold the fundamental rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression," Richard Bennett, chief of the Nepal unit of the UN human rights office, reportedly said in a statement.
According to AFP report on Saturday, China has even deployed security personnel inside Nepal to keep an eye for protests by pro-Tibetan groups.