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US Rights Group Says Nepal Deported Tibetan Exile to China


A U.S.-based rights group says Nepal has handed a Tibetan man over to Chinese authorities, the first known case of its kind in more than four years.

The International Campaign for Tibet said in a statement that 25-year-old Tsering Wangchen was deported in mid-July after being held in immigration custody in Kathmandu.

The group accused Nepal of violating international law. The group said while Nepal is not a signatory to international refugee conventions, its actions were a clear breach of a so-called "Gentlemen's Agreement" between the Nepalese government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In an interview with the French press agency, a Nepalese home ministry spokesman denied that Nepal handed over the man to China.

In May 2003, Nepal handed 18 Tibetans over to Chinese officials.

More than 25-hundred Tibetan refugees enter Nepal illegally each year in an attempt to reach India, where the Dalai Lama's government in exile is based.

Tibetan Buddhism's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and thousands of his followers fled to India from Tibet in 1959 during a failed revolt against Chinese rule.
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