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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Torture “endemic” in Tibet: new report to UN Committee Against Torture

November 16, 2015

International Campaign for Tibet, November 16, 2015 - The UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) is scheduled to review China’s compliance with its treaty obligations on November 17 and 18, 2015 during its 56th session in Geneva.

The Committee Against Torture is a body of 10 independent experts who monitor implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by its State parties.

The report concludes that although the PRC officially prohibits torture, it has become endemic in Tibet, a result both of a political emphasis on ensuring ‘stability’ and a culture of impunity among officials, paramilitary troops and security personnel.

Since the unrest in 2008 and crackdown in Tibet, the Chinese authorities have adopted a harsher approach to suppressing dissent and there has been a significant spike in the number of Tibetan political prisoners taken in Tibetan areas of the PRC. There is also evidence that since 2008 torture has become more widespread and directed at a broader sector of society.

The ICT submission focuses on three emblematic cases of Tibetans who have reportedly been subjected to torture: Goshul Lobsang, Jigme Gyatso and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. Despite the requirements of the Convention against Torture there is no information about investigations conducted into the relevant reports about torture of these persons.


The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1984 and entered into force in 1987. The Convention was established “to make more effective the struggle against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment throughout the world.”

The full report submitted by the International Campaign for Tibet to the United Nations is available at: http://www.savetibet.org/icts-submission-to-un-committee-against-torture-on-chinas-action-in-tibet/

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