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UN Panel Orders Inquiry into China's Repression in Tibet

November 25, 2008

Central Tibetan Administration
Tibet.net
November 24, 2008

Geneva -- A United Nations (UN) watchdog investigating torture has
ordered a thorough and independent inquiry into China's excessive use
of force against peaceful Tibetan protestors particularly monks in
Kardze county, Ngaba county, and the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.

The Chinese government violent clampdown on peaceful Tibetan
protestors since 10 March this year in Tibet, left 218 Tibetans dead,
1290 injured and 6705 arrested or detained.

The UN Committee against Torture's forth-periodic review on China was
held from 7 to 10 November in Geneva, Switzerland. In its concluding
observations, the UN Committee against Torture issued a set of
recommendations to China on 21 November.

The panel called for prompt, impartial and effective investigations
into all allegations of torture and ill-treatment and should ensure
that those responsible are prosecuted.

It asked the Chinese government to ensure that all Tibetan detainees
should be provided prompt access to an independent lawyer and
independent medical care and the right to lodge complaints in a
confidential atmosphere, free from reprisal or harassment.

It ordered investigations or inquests into the deaths, including
deaths in custody, of persons killed in the March 2008 events in the
Tibetan Autonomous Region and neighbouring Tibetan prefectures and counties.

On the issue of enforced disappearance, the UN committee underlined
the need to adopt all necessary measures to prohibit and prevent
enforced disappearances, to shed light on the fate of missing
persons, including Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, and prosecute and punish
perpetrators, as this practice constitutes, per se, a violation of
the Convention.

Outlining follow-up measures, the UN committee against torture said
it invite Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Special Rapporteurs on Tibet.

The Committee of independent experts will review China's next report
on the implementation of torture convention in November 2012.

During the current review prominent former political prisoners
Phuntsok Nyidron had testified before the Committee. She was tortured
during her 15 years imprisonment.

Mr. Li Baodong, head of the Chinese Government delegation at the UN,
reported several amendment and new regulations introduced in China's
legal system.

However, Mrs. Felice Gaer, the Committee Expert serving as Rapporteur
for the reports of China and the Hong Kong and Macao Special
Administrative Regions, expressed serious information gap in the
delegation's responds. She particularly mentioned about the
discrepancies between legislative protections against torture and
their implementation on the ground. She expressed frustration at the
lack of data on police actions against Tibetans. She held a booklet
and said that it contained names of 817 Tibetans who had disappeared
following the protests in Lhasa this year and demanded China provide
information on their whereabouts. China stated that due to the State
Secrets Law they were not able to provide details.

Ms. Gaer also demanded information on two religious figures Bishop Su
Zhimin and Gendun Choekyi Nyima who had been missing or disappeared
since May 1995.

In testifying before the Committee Mr. Li Baodong, said "We have zero
tolerance for torture".

Mr. Li said that he has transmitted the details of the 817 Tibetans
to relevant department for verification and assured to investigate on it.

However, he expressed difficulty in verifying over 200 people in the
list due to inadequate information including identity number and
proper address.

With regard to specific cases including the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun
Choekyi Nyima, he said that he will refer back to Beijing for information.
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