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UN urges Nepal to register Tibetan refugees

(TibetanReview.net, Apr12, 2014) – Reviewing the country’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a key component of the global bill of rights, the UN Human Rights Committee on Apr 10 urged Nepal to register long staying Tibetans and to ensure that all Tibetans who may have a valid refugee claim are guaranteed access to Nepali territory.

The committee has commended Nepal for hosting a large number of refugees and asylum seekers in its territory but expressed concern “at the restrictions imposed on Tibetan refugee rights should the State party deem any activity to undermine the friendly relationship with its neighbor.” It added that the existing lack of legal protection rendered them vulnerable to refoulement to China.

The above observations came after the committee had reviewed Nepal’s second four-yearly report on its compliance and promotion of the rights in the ICCPR.

During the year-long review process, Nepal claimed to the committee that it was “committed to respecting the principle of non refoulement.”

The Committee’s concluding observations came days after New York-based Human Rights Watch reported that under enormous pressure from China, Nepal restricts the political freedoms of Tibetan refugees living in Nepal, subjects them to abuse and harassment by the security forces, and spies on them for Chinese officials.

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