United Nations torture experts condemn China’s response to its abysmal records

Criminal justice reforms introduced in 2010 have not ended the use of torture, the committee found. (Photo courtesy: AP)
Criminal justice reforms introduced in 2010 have not ended the use of torture, the committee found. (Photo courtesy: AP)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec11, 2015) – The UN Committee against Torture has on Dec 9 condemned China for its abysmal record on the treatment of detainees in an unusually long and detailed 16-page report. The Committee published its Concluding Observations following an examination of China’s record on compliance, if any, with the UN convention against torture held in Nov 2015 in Geneva.

The committee, made up of independent experts, has not only criticized the practice of torture and ill-treatment in China but also examined the entire party-state system of the PRC. It has especially referred to the lack of independence of the Chinese judiciary and the influence of the Communist Party of China as a fundamental failing.

The committee has said it was “seriously concerned over consistent reports indicating that the practice of torture and ill-treatment is still deeply entrenched in the criminal justice system“, and criticized the lack of independent investigation into torture.

The committee has also expressed concern about deaths in custody, such as the case of the prominent and highly respected Tibetan religious leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche who was tried and jailed on trumped-up charges and died at a high-security remote prison in Jul 2015.

The Committee has urged that all instances of death in custody, allegations of torture and ill-treatment and refusal to provide medical treatment be promptly and impartially investigated by an independent body other than the procuratorial authorities, and that those found responsible for deaths in custody that result from torture, ill-treatment or denial of medical treatment be brought to justice and, on conviction, adequately punished. It has added that detained persons must have access to adequate medical care, including to a doctor of their choice.

The committee has expressed regret that from a list of 26 Tibetans indicated for reply in a “List of Issues” by it, China had left unanswered 24 cases. It has again urged China to provide the requested information on all Tibetan cases mentioned in the list of issues. It has also urged China to ensure that all custodial deaths, disappearances, allegations of torture and ill-treatment, and reported use of excessive force against persons in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and neighboring Tibetan prefectures and counties, are promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent mechanism.


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