A parallel NGO report by Human Rights in China(HRIC), submitted to the Committee Against Torture in advance of its review of the combined Fourth and Fifth Periodic Reports of the People’s Republic of China on implementation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Human Rights in China (HRIC) respectfully submits this report to the Committee Against Torture (“Committee”), in advance of the Committee’s review of the Government of the People’s Republic of China’s (“PRC”) combined Fourth and Fifth Periodic Reports on implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“CAT”) at its 41st session in November 2008.
HRIC also notes with appreciation the detailed and comprehensive list of issues to be considered during the examination of the State party’s Fourth Periodic Report and looks forward to the opportunity to contribute to the Committee’s review.
Key Areas of Concern
The state secrets system of the PRC presents a key challenge to monitoring and reducing the incidence of torture in China. The state secrets system, which comprises the Law on the Protection of the State Secrets of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter State Secrets Law), Measures for Implementing the Law on the Protection of the State Secrets of the People’s Republic of China, and other relevant provisions of the State Security Law, Penal Code, and Criminal Procedure Law, prevents independent assessment of CAT implementation measures. 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.
Additional areas of concern highlighted in this report include the definition of torture under PRC law, continuing attacks on defense lawyers, reform of administrative detention including Reeducation-Through-Labor, policies of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization impacting the prevention of torture, and accountability for victims of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, including those that suffered torture and ill-treatment.
Summary Of Recommendations