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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Tibet: UN Panel Presses China

November 15, 2008

Active ImageThe UN Committte Against Torture has voiced concern over
Chinese torture practices in Tibet.
Tibet Custom
November 12, 2008

A United Nations (UN) watchdog investigating torture allegations on
Monday [10 November 2008] pressed China to provide details of
Tibetans who were arrested, disappeared, brutally tortured and killed
during the crackdown on Tibetans across Tibet since March this year [2008].

The UN Committee Against Torture body of independent experts voiced
concern that China has not presented sufficient information to show
its compliance with its international obligation to end torture.

The Committee against Torture is a body of 10 independent experts
tasked with monitoring implementation by State parties of the
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment.

"The Chinese delegates largely evaded the substantive issues," said
Sharon Hom, executive director of Human Rights in China (HRIC).
"Overall, we are disappointed by the failure of the delegation to
address specific issues and cases of concern raised by the Committee.
Instead, they focused on reciting formal provisions of law and
presenting statistics in isolation.

Committee members pressed the Chinese delegation for clarification of
many areas of law and information about cases they saw as relevant to
the practice of torture, which include the state secrets designation
of cases, which in effect deprives a detainee of the right to
counsel, acts causing mental suffering, or acts of torture committed
by non-judicial officials hired by the government and the ongoing
crackdown on lawyers.

During the review meeting in Geneva on 6 November [2008], human
rights group including the International Campaign for Tibet and
Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy expressed their deep
concern over China's failure to respond to address human rights
issues in Tibet.

The rights groups reminded the UN panel of His Holiness the Dalai
Lama's grave concern that "Tibetans are being handed down a death
sentence and Tibet, an ancient nation with an ancient cultural
heritage is dying."

The right groups has sought an additional report from China to
account for the situation in Tibet, including the official figures on
arrests, killed, injured, disappeared and sentenced.

They encouraged China to receive the High Commissioner for Human
Rights to visit Tibetan areas in China as a follow-up to the request
made by the former-High Commissioner on 27 March 2008.

Welcoming the recent visit of the Norwegian Parliamentary Delegation
to "Tibet Autonomous Region," they urged the Chinese authorities to
receive Special Procedure Mandate-holders to conduct fact-finding
mission to Tibetan areas.

They also urged China to abolish the 'Reeducation Through Labour
(RTL)' system, implement a moratorium on executions, launch of a
human rights education programme and establish a national human
rights institution based on the Principles.

The right groups urged China to sign and ratify the International
Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced
Disappearances. They sought information from Chinese government on
the whereabouts of the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and to
form an independent body to visit the Panchen Lama and his family members.

In their response, Shen Yang, an official with China's Ethnic Affairs
Commission, told the committee that "Choekyi Nyima and his family are
leading a normal life and they don't want to be disturbed."

The UN's Committee Against Torture will make its final
recommendations known in a report on November 21 [2008].
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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