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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

UN experts seek whereabouts of the Panchen Rinpoche and Tibetans arrested earlier this year

August 15, 2008

By Tenzin Samphel Kayta
Tibet Bureau, Geneva
August 13, 2008

The UN's Committee against Torture (CAT), an independent body of
experts asked China to provide a complete list of all Tibetan
detained following the March 2008 demonstration in Tibet. This
request also includes information on their current location,
convictions, etc. The independent body of experts monitors the
implementation of the UN's Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by its State parties.

The experts questioned China about what the secret regulations were
applied in these cases and why? It further said "In view of
allegations that lawyers who offered to defend Tibetan protesters
were warned that they would have their professional licenses
suspended if they attempted to do so, please clarify what counsel was
provided and whether the defendants were permitted to meet with that
counsel in private, in advance of their trials."

The experts also questioned why a detainee does not have the right to
access to an independent doctor during pretrial detention or after conviction.

They also sought information from China about the 30 Tibetans who
were sentenced between three years to life imprisonment. The experts
asked China to clarify the basis of the sentences and how many cases
involved confessions from the defendants. And whether the Tibetans
had opportunities to appeal against the verdicts and if independent
review or oversight board were assigned to these cases.

The UN's independent body also sought information on any
investigations into those deaths and whether there will be a
transparent public inquiry into a number of deaths in connection with
the unrest in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and neighboring
prefectures and counties. Concerning administrative detention for
re-education through labor, the committee sought information on other
administrative detention centers as well as on persons detained under
the 1997 Law on Administrative Penalties.

The Committee also sought information on the whereabouts of Genden
Choekyi Nyima - the Panchen Rinpoche was arrested by Chinese Security
forces in May 1995 and since then there has been no information of
his whereabouts.

During the UN Human Right session in November 2008, China's fourth
periodic report is schedule to review by the Committee. Tibetan NGOs
will submit a shadow report on China's violation of the convention's
articles. China as a signatory of the convention is obliged to submit
regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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