Briefing: The United Nations and Amnesty International on Torture in East Turkestan

For immediate release
June 26, 2009, 11:00 am EST
Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496

On June 26, 2009, the United Nations International Day in Support of Torture Victims and Survivors recognizes the suffering of people subjected to state tyranny.

On this occasion, the Uyghur American Association (UAA) would like to present a short compendium of evidence collected by the United Nations and Amnesty International on torture in East Turkestan. The UAA document details the systematic nature of torture in East Turkestan as witnessed by independent observers, individual cases of torture against Uyghurs and torture techniques employed by state authorities in China.
Uyghurs in government custody frequently suffer from physical abuse and other maltreatment. In late 2005, after making his first official visit to China, during which he visited prisons in Urumchi, Lhasa, and Beijing, Mr. Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, confirmed that “torture was widespread” in China. Mr. Nowak added that there has been a “consistent and systematic pattern of torture related to ethnic minorities, particularly Tibetans and Uyghurs.” Forms of torture he documented included the “use of electric shock batons, cigarette burns, guard-instructed beatings by fellow prisoners, submersion in pits of water or sewage, exposure to extreme heat or cold, being forced to maintain uncomfortable positions, deprivation of sleep, food or water, (and) suspension from overhead fixtures by handcuffs.”

Despite its status as a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the People’s Republic China continues to carry out acts of state sanctioned violence against its citizens. To date, no effective mechanisms have been initiated in China to curb the practice of torture within its borders and in East Turkestan.

The United Nations and Amnesty International on Torture in East Turkestan can be accessed at:
http://docs.uyghuramerican.org/TURKESTAN.pdf

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