Geneva — Concluding a recent discussion on the folds of Chinese oppression on Tibet, the United Nations Committee against Torture underlined the irresponsible treatment of the Tibetans under lack of judicial protection in China.
The Chinese Delegation was shot at by several concerns raised by committee members regarding deaths in custody and allegations of torture. "The Chinese delegation largely denied the existence of issues related to torture, and even appeared to apply different standards with regards to what constitutes torture according to international law. This is inacceptable", said Head of the UN Advocacy Team at the International Campaign for Tibet, Kai Müller in Geneva.
A number of such cases were brought to the committee's attention, among them Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Khenpo Kartse's cases were the most debated upon.
Relatives of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche in exile in India said that in the past two days on learning about his death after 13 years in prison, his family members and monks had arrived at Chuandong Prison, together with some officials from the area. They sought to liaise with the Prison Management Bureau officials over the return of the body of Tenzin to his monastery and family; in Tibetan culture it is important that the body is accorded proper respect and prayer rituals, particularly in the case of a much-loved religious teacher." The death of Tenzin under suspicious condition in a high security prison was also a matter of concern.
After more than 10 months in detention, Karma Tsewang, also known as Khenpo Kartse, a respected Buddhist teacher and Tibetan community leader was tried and sentenced to two years in prison in Chamdo (Tibet Autonomous Region) by China according to reports on October 15th, 2014. He has been a prisoner of the Chinese state simply for his commitment to the well-being of the Tibetan people.
The CAT committee conclusively stressed on the need for the Chinese delegation to provide information on allegations on torture against Tibetans which they flatly refused to provide due to "unverifiable nature of information".
Furthermore the Chinese delegation claimed that there was neither politically motivated imprisonment, nor discrimination against Tibetans on the pretext of the recent laws that were passed in China to prevent discrimination against Tibetans. The committee dismissed the existence of these and stressed on the need for subsequent practice of these laws too. The Committee also asked the Chinese delegation to allow a trip of the UN Rapporteur on Torture to China.
Kai Müller, recognizing the inhuman treatment of Tibetan community said, "Torture and ill-treatment are widespread and endemic in Tibet. There is a climate of fear and repression that affects every aspect of life. Tibetans know that they are likely to be subjected to torture upon detention, and they know that in the current political climate even a moderate expression of their own culture and identity, or mild dissent, can lead to arrest. We are concerned about the lack of responses by the Chinese government to the questions of the Committee and the outright denial of issues with regard to Tibet and China. China must turn around its grim record on torture and truly prove that there is rule of law and due process in China"
In advance of this week's meetings in Geneva, the International Campaign for Tibet submitted a report on torture in Tibet. In February, ICT had published a report that highlights the cases of 29 Tibetans, detailing evidence that these Tibetans had suffered from torture and ill-treatment. The report documents 14 cases of Tibetans who have died in prison or immediately after their release.