China denies UN torture allegations

[JURIST] China on Tuesday denied the findings [JURIST report] of UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak [official profile, DOC] who, after a two-week visit [JURIST report] to China, criticized the country for the widespread torture and abuse of prisoners. Nowak, a UN envoy acting on behalf of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) [official website], also said his investigation was hindered [press release] by the Chinese government. Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Tuesday that torture was banned in China and that Nowak's findings, based on evidence that suspects were routinely beaten by police, "lacks an objective foundation and does not accord with reality." Earlier this year, the Chinese parliament passed a bill that mandates punishment for police who torture detainees during interrogation [JURIST report]. However, Nowak has said deeper reforms are required and that China has the need for an independent judiciary and independent monitoring mechanisms. There have been a recent slew of cases in China where people have been wrongly convicted after giving forced confessions. For example, in April, She Xianglin, was finally released [China Daily report] after he had spent 11 years in jail for allegedly murdering his wife after the woman turned up alive. She said he had confessed to the crime under torture. Reuters has more.

 

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