By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Oct 6: Ten human rights groups in a joint letter on Wednesday demanded the Chinese government to submit its state party report to the UN Committee against Torture without any further delay. “By ratifying the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the PRC has committed to submit quadrennial progress reports on the implementation of the treaty’s provisions,” the letter stated, noting that PRC has failed to submit its due report since its fifth periodic review in 2015.
In 2016, the committee reiterated its concerns about torture and ill-treatment during prolonged pre-trial cases and extra-legal detentions, including brutal deaths in custody. According to the letter, the committee had expressed concern that “serious discrepancies between the definition in the Convention and that incorporated into domestic law create actual or potential loopholes for impunity”. The CCP government has not issued any invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment for a visit since 2015.
Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy is also one of the signatories of the joint letter. “Such unwillingness to fulfill its international obligations implies that the PRC is seeking to evade its responsibility to protect human rights within its territory,” the group further said, adding that this rationale can be substantiated by the numerous cases of extrajudicial and arbitrary detentions of Tibetan, Uyghur and Chinese people under the repressive regime.
In Tibet alone, there are known cases of police brutality, such as environmentalist Kunchok Jinpa, who passed away in 2021 before his sentence was completed; Tenzin Nyima was released early in a state of coma and died shortly after; Choekyi died in 2020 after being released five months early.
The TCHRD, Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), World Uyghur Congress (WUC), Front Line Defenders, Uyghur Humans Rights Project (UHRP), CIVICUS, Human Rights in China (HRIC), Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), and Asian Dignity Initiative (ADI) are the signatories of the joint letter.