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Dharamshala: - The Chinese government brushed aside pressure from The U.N. Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance, to reveal the whereabouts and fate of more than 300 Tibetan monks since they were allegedly arrested in April, though some have reportedly since been released. Journalists were banned from the region and communication with Ngaba is heavily restricted.

The government has insisted that that local authorities were and are "conducting legal education" for the monks to maintain law and order in the troubled Ngaba district. A foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quoted as saying "no such thing as enforced disappearance" of the Tibetan monks. The relevant local authorities are conducting legal education for the Kirti monastery monks in order to maintain religious order there". He went on to say that the international community "should disregard bias and adopt an objective and fair perspective in looking at this issue."

However, Reuters news agency reports that China has imposed an official ban on foreigners traveling to Ngaba and surrounding regions of eastern Tibet. The situation in Ngaba county in eastern Tibet has been tense since mid-March when a 21-year- old Tibetan monk from the local monastery died after setting himself on fire to have a peaceful protest against continuing oppression under Chinese rule. Following the incident, China stepped up security in the region with armed police and the army surrounding the Kirti monastery in Ngaba county.

The Chinese government has claimed it has started legal education at the monastery, education which includes learning the basics of the Chinese constitution, criminal law and regulations on religious affairs. World-wide media coverage of the case said,
355 monks have been removed from the monastery by armed forces.

The UN Human Rights panel had earlier made a statement saying that "Enforced disappearance is a terrible practice that must not be permitted to occur anywhere and no exceptional circumstances whatsoever may be invoked to justify an enforced disappearance."

Other several Independent reports say the monastery had been closed by the authority and not even food being supplied at times. Moreover, monks being arrested without charges and tortured and a forceful education in patriotism are being carried out there. International media reporters are banned to enter the area and neighboring Tibetan areas.

The Working Group on Wednesday also called on China to fulfill its promise to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance and accept the competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals, as stated in the Convention.

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