Dharamshala — Reports indicate that a Tibetan activist was detained in Nepal for nine days after posting a picture of himself with a Tibetan flag on Facebook.
According to a report from International Campaign for Tibet, Tibetan activist Adak took a picture of himself holding a Tibetan flag near Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu and posted it to Facebook. Three days after posting the image, police approached him, he told ICT.
Police showed him the photograph and upon confirmation that it was his picture, they took him into custody. Adak told ICT that he was slapped and kicked in the process but was not further beaten in custody. He said that police threatened to deport him to Tibet.
According to ICT, Adak was held from March 14 to March 22, when he was released after the Nepalese human rights organization, HURON, intervened on his behalf.
Adak is a member of the Tibetan Volunteers Group in Nepal, who planned peaceful protests in 2008. Though, Adak told ICT that, "for the past three years or more it has been too dangerous for the group to carry out any form of peaceful protest due to China’s influence in Nepal. Letters to the embassies and photographs on social media are different and lower profile forms of advocacy that we have sought to adopt.
“I don’t know how the Nepalese police knew about the photo on Facebook,” Adak told ICT. “We can only assume it is interference from the Chinese. Nowadays the situation for Tibetans in Nepal is almost the same as for Tibetans in Tibet.”
After his release Adak was admitted to hospital and put on a glucose drip, as his health was affected by his period in custody. For his own safety, he has now left Nepal for India during the politically sensitive anniversary month of March.
After his release Adak was admitted to hospital and put on a glucose drip, as his health was affected by his period in custody. For his own safety, he has left Nepal for India.
There are increasing dangers for Tibetans in Nepal as ties between Nepal and China deepen. There are rumors of a high-level Chinese delegation visit to Kathmandu soon.