Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Report of UN Committee Against Torture

The United Nations Committee Against Torture recently released a report criticizing lack of judicial independence, an extremely low acquittal rate, statutes of limitations on crimes of torture, and human rights abuses among detainees. It also criticized the late (five years!) submission by the government of the country report, and noted that

the report does not fully conform to the Committee’s guidelines for the preparation of initial reports, insofar as it lacks thorough information on how the Convention’s provisions have been applied in practice in the State party.  The initial report has often limited itself to statutory provisions rather than providing analysis of the implementation of the rights enshrined in the Convention, supported by examples and statistics.

Sound familiar? Well, it was a northeast Asian country, but it wasn't China; it was Japan.

Remarkably, the very critical report on the mission to China of Manfred Nowak, the UNHCR's Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, remains available in China (i.e., unblocked) at the UN's web site, both in English and in Chinese.

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