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Tibetans fear for man sent back to China from Nepal

February 26, 2008

KATHMANDU, 26 Feb (AFP) — A rights group expressed concern Tuesday
over the fate of a man from Tibet who was arrested at a refugee centre
in Kathmandu at the weekend and handed over to Chinese authorities.

"There are serious concerns for the outcome of his case given the use
of torture and the lack of due process in legal proceedings in China
and Tibet," the International Campaign for Tibet said in a statement.

The arrest was "apparently linked to allegations by the Chinese
authorities that he had been involved in stabbing a Chinese man in
Tibet," the US-based rights group said.

Dozens of Nepali police officers surrounded and searched the Tibetan
Reception Centre late Saturday until they found Tsering Dhundup, 27,
officials from the centre said.

"This is the first time anybody has been arrested from here," an
official from the United Nations-funded centre said, on condition of

The police had no warrant and gave no explanation for the arrest,
centre officials said.

A senior police officer in the capital confirmed that Nepali
authorities had handed the man over to Chinese authorities.

"The immigration department of Nepal sent him to the Nepal-China
border in Kodari and handed him over to Chinese officials Monday,"
said the officer, Narendra Upreti.

"I cannot give you more information," he said when asked why Dhundup
was arrested.

Every year around 2,500 Tibetans make the dangerous high-altitude
journey from Chinese-controlled Tibet to Nepal, ending up at the
reception centre in Kathmandu.

Most are then given papers to allow them to travel to Dharamsala in
northern India, the home of Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai

Tibetan refugees began arriving in Nepal in 1959 after the Dalai Lama
fled Lhasa following an abortive uprising against Beijing.

In recent years, the Dalai Lama has backed off from pushing for
Tibetan independence, campaigning instead for the Himalayan region to
have "genuine autonomy."

Nepal's government respects Beijing's "One China" policy, which sees
Tibet as an integral part of China.
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