The United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person” for obtaining information or a confession, or intimidation, etc. The Convention Against Torture (CAT) which entered into force on this day in 1987 lays out 19 Articles that States parties to this convention are obligated to abide by and uphold the Convention. China is one such state having signed the Convention in 1986 and ratified it in 1988. Therefore, China is obligated by the CAT to ensure the prevention and elimination of torture.
Yet in Tibet – illegally occupied by China, torture is widespread and routinely used by the Chinese authorities against dissents. 26 June is therefore an opportunity to call on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to stop torture in Tibet. Tibetans continue to languish in jail where Chinese authorities torture Tibetan prisoners of conscience, sometimes releasing them in near-death conditions. The CCP must stop torture in Tibet and release Tibetan political prisoners.