Excerpts from United Nations Press Release: Torture, Though on Decline, Remains Widespread in China

December 2, 2005

In a report on a two-week visit resulting from a request originally made nearly a decade ago, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, made a raft of recommendations ranging from legal reforms to an independent monitoring system.

Although he said he could not make a detailed determination as to the current scale of abuses, he confirmed that many of the torture methods alleged to have been practiced on ethnic minorities, particularly Tibetans and Uighurs, political dissidents, human rights defenders, Falun Gong practitioners and members of house-church groups have been used in China.

The alleged methods include 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.

To view the full release, see: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=16777&Cr=rights&Cr1=China&Kw1=Nowak&Kw2=&Kw3.