Economic and Social Council
15 January 1996
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Item 8 (c) of the provisional agenda
QUESTION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF ALL PERSONS SUBJECTED TO ANY FORM OF DETENTION OR IMPRISONMENT QUESTION OF ENFORCED OR INVOLUNTARY DISAPPEARANCES
Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
II. INFORMATION CONCERNING ENFORCED OR INVOLUNTARY DISAPPEARANCES IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES REVIEWED BY THE WORKING GROUP
132. During the period under review, the Working Group transmitted to the Government of China three newly reported cases of disappearance, all of which allegedly occurred in 1995. All three cases were transmitted under the urgent action procedure. During the same period, the Working Group clarified 21 cases; 19 on the basis of information previously submitted by the Government, and 2 in which the source had established the whereabouts of the persons concerned.
133. Most of the 56 cases of disappearance reported to have occurred in China took place between 1988 and 1990. The majority of the persons alleged to have disappeared were Tibetans engaged in activities in favour of Tibetan independence. Reportedly, some of them disappeared after being arrested for writing or singing national poems or songs. Nineteen of these cases concerned a group of Tibetan monks who had reportedly been arrested in Nepal, interrogated by Chinese officials while in detention and, allegedly, turned over to the Chinese authorities at the Jatopani border. Other victims were human rights activists involved in pro-democracy activities. Three of the reported cases concerned persons who disappeared after the incidents in Beijing in 1989.
134. The newly reported cases of disappearance are said to have occurred in Tibet, and concern a six-year- old boy who was allegedly recognized as the reincarnation of the tenth Panchen Lama by the Dalai Lama on 4 May 1995, and the boyÕs parents, who are alleged to have been taken from their village by members of the police.
135. During the period under review, the Government of China provided information of six cases of disappearance, three of which had been clarified at the forty-fourth session of the Working Group; the other three concern the allegations of the disappearance of the boy who was reportedly recognized as the reincarnated Panchen Lama and his parents. In connection with the latter three cases, the Government submitted a lengthy reply in which it stated that Òthere has never been any case of ….kidnapping and disappearance of the family of the reincarnated childÓ and that the disappearance is a Òmere fabrication by the Dalai Lama groupÓ for political purposes. The process for selecting a reincarnated child was described. Since 1989, when the Panchen Lama passed away, the Government of China has been engaged in a search for the reincarnated child. Just as the selection process had entered its final stage, the Dalai Lama intervened by arbitrarily announcing his own choice. The Government stated that this was done for political purposes.
UN Report: Special Rapporteur on Torture, Addendum, E/CN.4/1996/35/Add.1 (excerpt)
Economic and Social Council