03/18/2010, 00.00
NEPAL
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Tibetans jailed for anti-Chinese protests go on hunger strike

Protesters were arrested on 10 March during clashes with police during demonstration marking the 59th anniversary of China’s invasion of Tibet. Prisoners are required to purge a 90-day prison sentence.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Twenty-three Tibetans have gone on hunger strike to protest their arrest on 10 March during demonstrations marking the 59th anniversary of China’s invasion of Tibet. The prisoners, who object to a 90-day sentence in prison under a law that bans anti-Chinese protests, began refusing food yesterday. Police announced that if they develop any health problems, they would be taken to hospital immediately.

Thousands of Tibetan refugees marched through the streets of Kathmandu to commemorate the Chinese invasion of Tibet of 1951. The rally began with 10 minutes of silence but quickly degenerated into clashes with police. About 34 people are arrested, 11 of whom were released a few hours later.

About 20,000 Tibetan refugees live in Nepal. Since the fall of the Nepali monarchy in 2006 and the rise to power of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist), Nepal has signed economic agreements with China and cracked down on all anti-Chinese demonstrations.

In 2008, it used force to stifle all attempts to protest during the Beijing Olympics.

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