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400 Tibetan supporters arrested in Kathmandu

Nepali police arrested about 400 Tibetan supporters on Monday at a demonstration against China's recent crackdown in Tibet.

Nepali police arrested at least 400 Tibetan supporters on Monday at two demonstrations against China's recent crackdown in Tibet.

A group of protesters were marching toward the United Nations offices in Kathmandu when police stopped them about 10 metres away, beating them with bamboo and taking their banners.

Tibetan monks, refugees and supporters chanted "China, stop killings in Tibet" and "UN, we want justice." They were demanding the international agency probe how Chinese authorities dealt with recent violent riots in Lhasa.

Police official Sarad Karki said about 245 demonstrators were arrested in that protest.

The second rally was near the area of the Nepali capital where the prime minister's office and all government ministries are located. Police official Sarvendra Khanal said 155 protesters were arrested there.

The UN human rights office expressed deep concern at the "arbitrary arrests and detentions" of hundreds of people, which it said included some prominent Nepali human rights activists.

"These actions by police violate individuals' basic rights to freedom from arbitrary detention and freedom of movement, in addition to impairing the individuals' rights to peaceful assembly and expression," the UN statement said.

The UN and other international human rights groups have spoken out against Nepal's use of force during protests involving Tibetan refugees.

New York-based Human Rights Watch also urged Kathmandu to stop doing "Beijing's bidding."

Thousands of Tibetan refugees live with relatives in Nepal or in camps funded by aid groups. Many have also moved to India, where Tibet's government-in-exile is based.

With files from the Associated Press

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