Rights activists hope that China’s appearance before a United Nations torture panel on Friday will shed light on what they say are widespread abuses in the country.
Chinese officials will face questions about alleged mistreatment of prisoners, drug addicts and dissidents in the two-day review by the U.N. Committee Against Torture.
By Laura MacInnis, Reuters
Corinna-Barbara Francis of Beijing to increase its monitoring and do more to reduce the incidence of torture.said the rare public grilling would heap pressure on
“A country like China typically can evade that sort of formal analysis and scrutiny,” she said. “It is important that the U.N. (committee) is looking at China and scrutinizing it.”
Amnesty is among more than a dozen human rights groups that submitted reports to the U.N. panel describing acts of brutality in Chinese police stations, prisons, covert , and in the streets throughout the country.
The Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), a network of Chinese rights groups, told the committee that while Beijing has introduced some new laws, it defines “torture” too narrowly and lacks the mechanisms to monitor, investigate, and sanction it.
“Except for some progress in the promulgation of legislation and administrative documents, China has made no clear and discernible improvement in prohibiting the use of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” it said.
Falun Gong members carry a banner outside the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur April 18, 2008.(Zainal Abd Halim/Reuters)