Dharamsala, April 21: The slogan, “Save Tibet and stop the killing in Tibet” on the 42-year-old Tibetan woman activist, Sonam Choedon’s t- shirt led to unacceptable harassment when the Nepalese Police force her to undress in public.
It was Monday April 21 in Kathmandu when Sonam Choedon participated with approximately 30 Tibetans in a hunger strike for Tibetans in Ngaba and the monks of Kirti Monastery, following the Chinese Military’s crackdown over the past few weeks. During the protest the Nepalese Police forced Choedon to undress. When she objected to the harassment, the police threatened to take all hunger strikers to prison. The harassment and use of power by the police, who demanded public humiliation of the Tibetan woman, is not only shameful but also completely unprofessional.
This harassment violates a number of articles within the Convention that Nepal signed and ratified in 1991, the Convention on the “Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women” (articles 1, 3 and 7). Even the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights “ states that “no one shall be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. Other articles within the covenant that were ignored, were violation of freedom of expression, against threat of arbitrary arrests, right to peacefully assembly, and protection against discrimination. In addition, other violations of basic rights afforded by The Declaration of Human Rights are noted: Article 5, 9, 12, 14, 18, 19, 20, and 29.
TWA has drawn the attention of Kyung-what Kang (United Nation Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, National Human Rights Commission (NGRC)-Nepal, National Alliance for Human Rights and Social Justice, – Nepal, and The Human Rights Organization of Nepal (HRON)) to immediately consider an urgent action intervention to the Government of Nepal to address this issue and have the Nepalese police responsible for this discriminatory act apologize to the victim. TWA garnered the support of the Human Rights groups in taking a stand for Human Rights and support of the Tibetan activist community in clearly speaking out against such harassment and violation.