Today at the 46th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Kai Mueller submitted a statement on behalf of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR), asking it to hold China accountable for the pattern of deaths of Tibetans after torture and mistreatment in detention.

Following is the text of the statement.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Human Rights Council
Forty-sixth Regular Session
March 9, 2021

Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Statement delivered by Kai Mueller on behalf of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Madam President,

We thank the Special Rapporteur on Torture for his report, evaluating the effectiveness of States’ responses and cooperation.

We are extremely concerned at the lack of cooperation with the Special Rapporteur by the People’s Republic of China. While the practice of torture and ill-treatment is still deeply entrenched in the criminal justice system of the PRC, the government has not issued an invitation to the UN Rapporteur on Torture to visit, including to Tibetan areas.

Tibetan political prisoners continue to be tortured and mistreated, often resulting in death just after the prisoner is released. On 6 February 2021, Kunchok Jinpa, 51, died in hospital in Lhasa, less than three months after being transferred from prison. There had been no information on his whereabouts since his arrest in November 2013. In January this year, 19 year old Tenzin Nyima died soon after being released from police custody. He was arrested after peacefully protesting. In August 2020, Lhamo, a 36 year old mother of three, died after mistreatment in detention. These are not unique cases.

The Chinese authorities should be held accountable for the pattern of deaths of Tibetans after torture and mistreatment in detention.

We therefore support the call of UN independent experts to initiate an independent investigation into the human rights situation in the PRC, issued in June 2020, and ask Member States of this Council to urgently support this.

Thank you.

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