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UN Confronts China on Torture

ICC Note:

Despite being a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT), China continues to deflect the UN Committee’s questions about its use of torture and other severe human rights violations.


11/11/08 China (EpochTimes) The Chinese regime has failed to answer hard-hitting questions about its severe human rights violations when pushed by the UN’s Committee on Torture, say human rights organizations.

China missed the last review in 2004 by ignoring it completely. This year it submitted a report spanning eight years but failed to respond to the 11 pages of questions raised by the UN follow-up committee.

Although Chinese ambassador Li Baodong told the committee that China has “zero tolerance” for torture, those observing the review said the Chinese delegation deflected questions about the use of torture in detention centers, police stations, labor camps, psychiatric hospitals and other institutions.

Mr. Matas specifically questioned the increase in organ transplants coincident with the persecution of Falun Gong. According to his 2006 report there were 41,500 organs unaccounted for in China’s transplant system between 2001 and 2006.

He said the Chinese regime avoided answering specific questions about the organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

“Instead what they did was they attacked the Falun Gong — which the committee noted.”

“China basically hadn’t given any meaningful answers so I suggested to the committee that they pursue this — and they did — and again China didn’t give any answer,” he said.

“They are obligated not to torture people and they do torture people, so they’ve violated the convention. That’s the problem.”

Other submitters included Amnesty International, Human Rights in China, Free Tibet and the Conscience Foundation.
In its submission, Human Rights in China said some “key areas of concern” are the definition of torture under Chinese law, continuing attacks on defense lawyers, accountability for victims of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown and China’s state secrets system.

“In many instances, information requested by the Committee is classified as “state secrets.” Such information control obstructs the Committee’s review process and undermines legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures aimed at preventing acts of torture,” stated the submission.

The Chinese regime’s 38-page report is largely a list of constitutional amendments and penal code reforms. The Conscience Foundation described China’s report as “progress on paper and deterioration in reality.”

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