Petition calls on China to comply with international law and stop torture in Tibet
Free Tibet's Stop the Torture in Tibet petition has been signed by over 5,000 people and will now be delivered to the Minister of Justice in China.
The delivery of the petition comes one month before a deadline set by the United Nations for China to provide information on what it has done to comprehensively abolish torture.
China prohibits torture under its own laws and is a signatory to the United Nations' Convention Against Torture. However, it has consistently failed to implement these laws in Tibet. Free Tibet continues to receive testimonies of Tibetans who were tortured and ill-treated in prison or police detention.
Torture techniques include beatings with metal bars and electric cables, holding prisoners in stress positions for extended periods of time, depriving prisoners of food, water and medical treatment and holding them in cramped, solitary conditions. Many of these cases are documented in extensive detail in two reports released last year by Free Tibet's research partner Tibet Watch.
Free Tibet has run the petition for the past year, following China’s review at the United Nations Committee Against Torture in November 2015. On the basis of this review, and evidence submitted by a number of organisations, including Free Tibet’s research partner Tibet Watch, the Committee concluded that “the practice of torture and ill-treatment is still deeply entrenched in the criminal justice system”. The Commitee added that it had “received numerous reports from credible sources that document in detail cases of torture, deaths in custody, arbitrary detention and disappearances of Tibetans.”
The Committee also expressed serious concern that China had failed to provide information on 24 out of the 26 Tibetan cases that it was asked about during the review. These cases all involved allegations of torture, death in custody, and situations that could lead to torture, such as arbitrary detention and disappearances.
The report by the Committee contained a series of recommendations to China to ensure that its justice system was free of torture. It requested that China responded to them by 9 December 2016, explaining what measures it had taken to implement these recommendations. Free Tibet's petition adds to the international pressure on China to respond to the Committee and put an end to its use of torture.
Free Tibet will continue to work on torture in Tibet in the lead up to the UN deadline, and afterwards. It is grateful to everyone who took part in this action.
Among the most pressing concerns in Tibet at the moment are the ongoing demolitions and forced removals at Larung Gar Buddhist Academy. Add your voice to our campaign, calling on China to halt these destructive measures.