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China Resorts to Recurring Strategy and Delays UN Investigation of Torture (Photos)

June 20, 2004 |  

(Clearwisdom.net) Just as the UN special rapporteur on torture was finally about to start his long-waited investigation in China, Chinese authorities once again postponed his visit. Although terms of the visit had been negotiated for nearly a decade, the Chinese authorities still claimed at the last minute that they needed more time for preparation. Critics have commented that Jiang's followers couldn't possibly hide their crimes any longer, no matter how much time they are given, because of the tremendous amount evidence of the torturing of Falun Gong practitioners that has found its way out of China.

Beijing Claims that It Needs More Time to Prepare for The Visit

According to reports from AFP and BBC on June 17, the UN said China had postponed an inspection visit in late June by its special rapporteur on torture. The reason for the delay, as alleged by Beijing, is that the trip would involve different authorities, departments and provinces. Human Rights Watch criticized the delay, saying "postponement raises serious questions about the sincerity of the government's commitment to international cooperation."

Reportedly, the trip has been discussed for nearly a decade, and Theo van Boven was finally about to start his visit to China in late June. Then, Beijing suddenly postponed the trip claiming that it needed more time to prepare. Beijing alleged that the postponement should be read as a sign of just how much importance it attached to the visit. However, Theo van Boven, the UN rapporteur on torture, regretted the delay. Meanwhile, Zhang Qiyue, spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on June 17 that another reason for the delay was that officials of quite a few departments were scheduled to be on vacation during the visit, and there were also some technical problems to be addressed.

Sincerity of the Chinese Government Questioned

According to a BBC report, Human Rights Watch said "In light of the fact that the visit ... has been under discussion for the best part of a decade, this eleventh-hour postponement raises serious questions about the sincerity of the government's commitment to international cooperation." Meanwhile, Nicholas Becquelin, of Human Rights in China, told BBC News Online that the postponement "does nothing to dispel the impression that China has something to hide."

The BBC report said that the rapporteur had indicated he would only visit China if he could make unannounced visits to places of detention and have unsupervised interviews with prisoners.

According to AFP, in fact, the previous special rapporteur, Sir Nigel Rodley, had requested an invitation to China in 1995, and China issued an invitation in 1999. However, the trip didn't become a reality as they couldn't reach agreement on terms of the visit.

The Rapporteur Highlights China in His Torture Report

According a report by Epoch Times, the 70-year-old UN rapporteur submitted his annual report to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights at its annual meeting in Geneva in March. At the same time, he also announced his trip to China.

Of the 115 countries covered, China had by far the greatest number of verified violations in the 420-page report. In over 130 cases of reported torture and abuse in China, approximately 100 of them were perpetrated against Falun Gong practitioners. The report was published on March 23, 2004.

According to the report, Rapporteur Theo van Boven wrote to the Chinese government at least six times to appeal about specific cases of torture in 2003.

In a letter dated June 4, 2003 he informed the Chinese government he was aware that a Mr. Xiao "was reportedly subjected to the so-called "water dungeon"... locking a naked person into a small iron cage with spikes on all sides. The cage is then lowered into filthy water up to the victim's chest or neck in a completely dark room. The victim may be locked in the cage for days or even weeks, and urine and feces are excreted into the water."

The report is not comprehensive and many cases of torture may not be included in it, said a representative from the rapporteur's office. These cases include severe beatings, whippings with poisonous hemp, hanging by the wrists, deprivation of food and sleep, dousing with extremely cold or hot water, shocking sensitive body parts with high-voltage electric batons, and sodomizing with sticks.

Falun Gong Practitioners' Torture Exhibition During G8 Summit Attracts Wide Attention from All Circles

While the Chinese government may block the UN rapporteur from going to China to investigate, it cannot hinder people from exposing the torture methods used by the Jiang regime in its brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

From June 8 to June 10, Falun Gong practitioners' torture exhibition attracted much attention during the 30th G8 annual summit, which was held at Sea Island, Georgia. More than 100 Falun Gong practitioners participated in the exhibition and other appeal activities, and more than 30 media interviewed practitioners involved in the torture exhibition.

Falun Gong practitioner Chiluak Lu reenacts one of the alleged torture practices in Chinese prisons during a demonstration in Brunswick, Georgia June 8, 2004 near the site of the G8 Summit. (Reuters photo)

Falun Gong (news - web sites) practitioner Fengjuan Tan sits in a small cage, reenacting torture practices in Chinese prisons, as the group demonstrated in Brunswick, Georgia June 8, 2004 near the site of the G8 Summit. (Reuters photo)

Digging bamboo sticks under practitioners' fingernails

The "dead person's bed" was occasionally used previously for condemned criminals. Now it is used to torture Falun Gong practitioners at large, both male and female. Practitioners who have experienced this torture include grandmothers in their 50s or 60s and also unmarried young girls.

The Mayor of Brunswick viewed the torture exhibition twice on June 8. He also went on air on a talk show at a local radio station to introduce the exhibition to the citizens of Brunswick. After listening to practitioners' explanation of the torture exhibition, Brunswick's police chief immediately called her police officers and recommended that they come to view the exhibition. Many city government officials, police officers, and even family members of police officers came to view exhibition and they all expressed that they were shocked by the brutality. A police officer told practitioners the Brunswick police will support Falun Gong practitioners wholeheartedly and they would write to the Chinese police and ask their counterparts in China to stop this kind of brutality.

A Savannah resident, an attorney, said, "Thank you, Falun Gong practitioners for exposing the torture to Savannah residents. We are touched by this exhibition."