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Statement by Counsellor ZHANG Dan, the Chinese Delegation at the Third Committee of the 64th Session of the GA at the Dialogue with the Chairman of the Committee against Torture and the Special Rapporteur on Torture

2009-10-20 13:50

(New York, 20 October 2009)

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation takes note of the report of the Special Rapporteur on torture. We have to point out that the allegations made in the report on the situation in China's detention centers and re-education through labor facilities grossly deviate from reality and we regret that unverified false information has been used in the report.

As one of the first states to sign the UN Convention against Torture, China is firmly opposed to torture and has established a complete judicial system in this regard. We have improved preventive and supervisory mechanism as well as mechanisms for punishing perpetrators of torture and providing compensation to the victims of torture. In the just published National Human Rights Action Plan, the Chinese government reaffirmed its determination to resolutely combat torture and set out concrete measures in this regard.

Re-education through labor is a rectifying measure targeting persons who have committed minor offences, which are non-judiciable under the criminal code. It is an early preventive mechanism. Specific legal provisions, strict judicial process and sufficient judicial remedy are provided in connection with the mechanism. These centers provide courses in law and other knowledge as well as professional training so as to help people re-enter into the society. The so-called “individuals are kept for years without any judicial proceedings” and “subjected to brainwashing” included in the Special Rapporteur's report is totally groundless.

The Prison Law of China has clearly stipulation about the living condition of prisoners. Every ward has its own bathroom. The right to health and personal privacy of the prisoners are effectively protected.

China has fulfilled in good faith its obligations under the Convention against Torture and has so far submitted five reports on four occasions. It is regrettable that at the Committee's consideration of China's report last November, individual members, out of prejudice against China and in total disregard of facts, deliberately politicized the consideration of the report, turned a blind eye to the detailed information provided by the Chinese government and put misrepresented accusations in the concluding observations and take up unrelated issues, which goes against the professional ethics of fairness and objectivity and runs counter to the purposes of the Convention and the mandate contained therein.

We hope that the Committee against Torture and the Special Rapporteur on Torture strictly abide by the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures and carry out their work in a fair, objective and non-selective manner. The Chinese government is willing to continue to cooperate with human rights special procedures on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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