Nepal deports 2 Tibetan refugees: report
Phayul[Friday, July 23, 2010 12:38]
By Kalsang Rinchen

Dharamsala, July 23 – Breaking the so called "gentleman's agreement" with the United Nations refugee agency in Nepal the Nepalese police have arrested two Tibetans from Nepal’s Humla district and handed them over to Chinese border guards, the Voice of Tibet radio reported.

Around midnight Wednesday Nepal’s ABC news channel broadcast the news about the arrest of the two Tibetans and their eventual deportation to Tibet, Dorjee Damdul, the head of the Tibetan Reception Centre in Kathmandu told the VOT.

Dorjee further said he had brought the matter before the local office of the United Nations refugee agency which confirmed the deportation after consulting the television channel.

There are no details available currently on the identities of the two Tibetans.

Hundreds of Tibetans risk their lives by making dangerous journey across the mountainous border into Nepal every year. Nepal, which has no asylum laws, had recently beefed security along its border with Tibet making it hard for Tibetans to escape.

The International Campaign for Tibet said, "Vigorous strategies by Beijing to influence the Nepalese government, border forces, the judicial system and civil society at a time of political transition in Nepal mean that Tibetans in Nepal are increasingly vulnerable, demoralised and at risk of arrest and repatriation."

Past estimates suggest between 2,500 and 3,000 Tibetans escape Tibet and enter Nepal each year on their way to the seat of Tibetan Government-in-Exile here in north India. The number has slowed down dramatically since 2008 after Nepal beefed up security along its border with Tibet following 'Chinese pressure'.

In the past, there have been several arrests of Tibetan refugees from various border districts of Nepal but they were ultimately handed over to the UN refugee agency after being kept in police custody for some time.

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