By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 29: A Tibetan man was reportedly detained for 10 days and threatened to be deported back to Tibet by Nepalese police for a photo he posted on Facebook in which he posed with Tibetan national flag near the Boudha stupa in Kathmandu earlier this month.
A Tibetan man named Adak in his late forties was detained three days after posting the image which showed him carrying a small Tibetan flag with the Boudha stupa in the background. He was held from March 14 to March 22. “They showed him the photograph and when he confirmed that it was his picture in response to their query, they took him into custody,” rights group International Campaigns for Tibet said yesterday.
Adak is a member of a small group of Tibetans, the Tibetan Volunteers Group in Nepal, who were involved in arranging peaceful protests in 2008 in the wake of the Pan-Tibet uprising prior to the Beijing Olympics. The group sent letters to international embassies in Kathmandu highlighting the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet at the time of the March 10 anniversary of the 1959 Uprising and 2008 protests.
Adak has left Nepal for India following his release secured with the help of Nepalese human rights organization, HURON. “I don’t know how the Nepalese police knew about the photo on Facebook. We can only assume it is interference from the Chinese. Nowadays the situation for Tibetans in Nepal is almost the same as for Tibetans in Tibet,” Adak told ICT.
ICT President Matteo Mecacci said, “There is no justification for the detention and intimidation of a Tibetan who did nothing more than post a picture of himself and participate in writing a reasonable letter to the international community in Nepal. It is a shameful act that does not serve Nepal’s international reputation.”
China’s influence in Nepal’s heavy-handedness over Tibetan refugees is a widely known fact over the course of the last decades when Tibetans have been subjected to harsh and violent handling by the Nepalese police banning commemoration of any Tibetan political festivals in the country. Nepal has also jailed and deported Tibetan refugees, blocking an essential and much used route for Tibetans to flee Chinese control in occupied Tibet.