KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An international human rights group says China has pressured Nepal to impose tough restrictions on thousands of Tibetan refugees, including arbitrary detention, excessive use of force and intrusive surveillance.

Human Rights Watch said in a report released Tuesday that China has put heavy pressure on Nepal because it does not want the Tibetan refugees to protest Chinese rule in their homeland.

Nearly 20,000 Tibetans who fled their homeland now live in Nepal. In recent years they have not been allowed to protest outside China’s embassy.

Nepal’s Home Ministry denied that Tibetans are mistreated and said it has a policy of forbidding hostile activities against neighboring nations.

China is an important source of arms, aid and investment for Nepal.