Published online April 1, 2014 by The New York Times
By Edward Wong and Bhadra Sharma
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BEIJING — Under enormous pressure from China, the Nepalese government 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, according to a report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch.
The 100-page report, “Under China’s Shadow: Mistreatment of Tibetans in Nepal,” documents the repression faced by Tibetans who cross into Nepal, often illegally, from neighboring Tibet, which has been ruled since 1951 by the Chinese Communist Party. The report also discusses how some of those refugees might never enter Nepal proper, saying there are “serious concerns that Nepal may at times forcibly return Tibetans to China.”
Any forced return of Tibetans at the border would be a violation of a “gentleman’s agreement” between Nepal and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which runs a transit center for Tibetans in the Katmandu Valley. That agreement is aimed at guaranteeing Tibetans safe passage to India, which has a significant Tibetan refugee population.