Economic and Social Council
30 December 1994
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Item 10 (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
121. During 1994, the Working Group transmitted to the Government of China six newly reported cases of disappearance which allegedly occurred in 1994. Four of these cases were transmitted under the urgent action procedure. During the same period, the Working Group decided to consider clarified nine cases, and retransmitted to the Government a total of six cases, which had been updated with new information from the source.
122. Most of the 53 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.
123. The newly reported cases are said to have occurred in Shanghai and Beijing; the force alleged to be responsible for the disappearances is the Public Security Bureau Police. All the victims were human rights activists with a university education, some of whom were reportedly the organizers of the “League for the Protection of the Rights of the Working People of the People’s Republic of China”; others are said to have signed, in March 1994, the “Blueprint for Political Democratization of the State and Society” which calls for democratic changes, reform of the penal system and the establishment of independent labour unions. Some of the victims had previously been imprisoned for their involvement in democratic activities and, in one case, the victim and his family had reportedly been routinely followed, threatened and harassed by the Public Security Bureau. In another case, the victim’s wife was alleged to have been detained for telephoning an organization abroad to report her husband’s disappearance. Information received 124. In addition to the specific cases of disappearance, the Working Group also received reports from non-governmental organizations according to which some of the principal sponsors of a new organization called the “League for the Protection of the Rights of the Working People of the People’s Republic of China” have allegedly disappeared or are being held in detention, reportedly without charge or trial, for having attempted to establish independent human rights monitoring and protection mechanisms.
125. During 1994, the Government of China provided information on six cases of disappearance, stating that in five of them the persons had never been detained and in the other, which concerned the alleged disappearance of the group of 19 Tibetans, that further information would be provided when the investigation was completed. The Government of China also provided information on the four cases of disappearance transmitted in 1994 by the Working Group under the urgent action procedure. The Government of China notified the Working Group that two of the persons were being held under legal investigation for disturbing social order, and stated the exact place of detention. It was stressed by the Government that the families had been notified of their detention. In one other case, the Government reported that the person concerned was being detained while under legal investigation for criminal hooliganism, but did not indicate where he was being held. Regarding the fourth case, the Government replied that the person was under residential surveillance by the Public Security Bureau on suspicion of inciting a mob to cause social disturbance.
UN Report: Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, E/CN.4/1995/36 (excerpt)
Economic and Social Council