China Dodges U.N. Questions on Torture Record (with Video)
CDT reported previously that a Chinese delegation would appear before the U.N. Committee Against Torture to face questions about the country’s alleged abuse of prisoners. Chinese officials appearing before the panel have been less than forthcoming with hard facts or numbers about the prevalence of torture in China’s prison system, or about the whereabouts and circumstances of disappeared Chinese citizens. From AP:
China refused Monday to answer questions from a U.N. human rights panel about the alleged torture and disappearance of dissidents, or provide official figures on the mistreatment of detainees in its prisons.
[…]Chinese officials addressed only one case, that of Gendun Choekyi Nyima, who in 1995 was chosen by the Dalai Lama to become the Panchen Lama, Tibetan Buddhism’s second-highest ranking figure.
Nyima, who was six years old at the time, disappeared with his family soon after and has not been heard from since. Human rights groups say Nyima, now 19, is being held under house arrest by the Chinese authorities.
New Tang Dynasty Television has posted a video to YouTube which summarizes the allegations of China’s human rights abuses brought forth by groups including the Conscience Foundation, Amnesty International, and Human Rights in China:
Chinese ambassador Li Baodong, head of the Chinese delegation to the U.N. panel on torture, has called many of these accusations “groundless and untrue”. From Reuters:
Human rights groups expressed disappointment on Monday over what they saw as China’s legalistic side-stepping of questions from the United Nations’ torture watchdog on its interrogation and detention techniques.
[…]activists observing the review said that the 32-member Chinese delegation skirted questions about the prevalence of abuse in police stations, prisons, informal custody houses, psychiatric hospitals and other facilities.
“The Chinese delegation as a whole has not given data on enforcement, they have given data on the formal law,” said Sharon Hom of the New York-based Human Rights In China.