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UN Human Rights Experts on Disappeara​nces Speak out Missing Kirti Monks

June 11, 2011

China: UN expert body seriously concerned about Tibetan monks
reportedly subjected to enforced disappearance

GENEVA (8 June 2011) – The United Nations Working Group on Enforced or
Involuntary Disappearances* on Wednesday voiced its serious concern
and urged the Chinese authorities to disclose the fate and whereabouts
of all those who have been subject to enforced disappearances in
China, including a group of Tibetan monks whose fate or whereabouts
still remain unknown.

On 21 April 2011, more than 300 monks of the Ngaba Kirti Monastery,
located in Ngaba County, Sichuan Province, were allegedly arrested and
taken to unknown destinations in ten military trucks. The arrests were
reportedly carried out by agents from the People’s Armed Police, the
Public Security Bureau and the People’s Liberation Army.

“We call on the authorities to provide full information on the fate
and the whereabouts of the persons who have disappeared,” said the
Working Group, noting that it is reported that some of the monks have
been released. “We encourage the authorities to undertake full
investigations into the on-going practice of enforced disappearances
and ensure that those responsible are prosecuted and receive sentences
appropriate to the gravity of the crime.”

“Enforced disappearance is a terrible practice that must not be
permitted to occur anywhere and no exceptional circumstances
whatsoever may be invoked to justify an enforced disappearance,” the
Working Group stressed. “Family members should be promptly informed on
the fate and whereabouts of people reportedly disappeared. Those who
have suffered the fate of being subject to an enforced disappearance
should be provided with integral reparations.”

The expert body reiterated that “China has an obligation to abide by
the strictest standards in the field of human rights. It also should
fully cooperate with the UN special procedures and in particular with
the Working Group.”(See: China - UN expert body concerned about recent
wave of enforced disappearances:

The Working Group also called on China to fulfill its promise to
ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to
ratify the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons
from Enforced Disappearance and accept the competence of the Committee
on Enforced Disappearances to receive and consider communications from
or on behalf of individuals, as stated in the Convention.

The Working Group was established by the United Nations Commission on
Human Rights in 1980 to assist families in determining the fate and
whereabouts of disappeared relatives. It endeavours to establish a
channel of communication between the families and the Governments
concerned, to ensure that individual cases are investigated, with the
objective of clarifying the whereabouts of persons who, having
disappeared, are placed outside the protection of the law. In view of
the Working Group's humanitarian mandate, clarification occurs when
the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person is clearly

The Working Group continues to address cases of disappearances until
they are resolved. It also provides assistance in the implementation
by States of the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All
Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

(*) The Working Group is comprised of five independent experts from
all regions of the world. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Jeremy Sarkin
(South Africa) and the other members are Mr. Ariel Dulitzky
(Argentina), Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Mr. Osman
El-Hajjé (Lebanon) and Mr. Olivier de Frouville (France).

For more information on the WGEID, log on to:

How to submit cases to the WGEID? Log on to:

Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced

OHCHR Country Page – China:

For more information and media requests:
Ms. Giovanna Zucchelli (Tel.:+ 41 22 917 9189 / e-mail: )
Mr. Matías Pellado (Tel.: +41 22 917 9336 / e-mail: )

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