Beijing, China (HRW) – As the worst crackdown on human rights in two decades unfolds, the Chinese government is also failing to respond candidly to a key United Nations torture review, Human Rights Watch said today. The review is China’s fifth under the Convention against Torture and will be held on November 17-18, 2015, in Geneva.
The review takes place after years of Chinese government promises to curb wrongful convictions, which are often the result of endemic torture.
“Torture remains a daily reality in China, and this is a critical moment for Beijing to answer tough questions about why this problem persists,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “Dishonesty, evasion, or obfuscation from officials at the review can only deepen torture survivors’ agony. An honest discussion that commits to accountability for torturers might help mitigate survivors’ pain and indicate willingness to reform.”
- Ensure that anyone taken into police custody be promptly brought before a judge, normally within 48 hours of being apprehended;
- Revise the Criminal Procedure Law to ensure that suspects may have lawyers present during any police questioning and interrogations, and stipulate suspects’ right to remain silent during questioning; and
- Transfer the power to manage detention centers from the Ministry of Public Security to the Ministry of Justice.
“For 15 years the Committee Against Torture, civil society, and many others have pushed Beijing for these basic changes, yet Chinese authorities have resisted,” Richardson said. “We’ll know China’s leaders are serious about eradicating torture when officials provide credible information to these reviews, when all who want to participate can do so without fear of reprisals, and when all who have been ill-treated see their tormentors prosecuted.”
For more Human Rights Watch reporting on China’s use of torture, please visit:
Tiger Chairs and Cell Bosses: Police Torture of Criminal Suspects in China
HRW Letter to the UN Committee Against Torture re: Pre-Sessional Review of China
HRW Submission to the UN Committee Against Torture (November 2015)
HRW Letter to the UN Committee Against Torture re: China Torture Cases
China Must be Pressed to End Torture by Police, by Maya Wang
Prepared by Human Rights Watch.