» 11/22/2008 CHINA UN committee: Beijing should apologize to Tiananmen victims The committee against torture calls upon China to ask forgiveness for the massacre of students, and to provide information on the people still in prison. It also expresses the hope for "full and impartial" investigations to clarify the affair and punish the guilty. The UN also calls for an end to torture.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Chinese government should ask for forgiveness from the victims of the massacre in Tiananmen Square in June of 1989, and should make further efforts to eliminate the practice of torture against activists and dissidents. This is the hope expressed by the United Nations committee against torture, which calls upon China to open "full and impartial" investigations into the bloody repression of the student revolt.
The committee also asks Beijing to "provide information on persons who are still detained from that period, inform the family members of their findings, offer apologies and reparation as appropriate and prosecute those found responsible for excessive use of force, torture and other ill-treatment." Last year, the American government said that "between 10 and 200" activists from Tiananmen Square are still being held in Chinese prisons.
At the beginning of November, Li Baodong, the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, reiterated that the government has "zero tolerance for torture," and has made progress toward rooting out the practice. This claim is partly disputed by the UN committee, which says that there are denunciations of torture and abuse in the prisons, especially during the interrogation of dissidents and in criminal proceedings to coerce confession. The committee finally says that Beijing must eliminate any kind of forced detention or confinement to prison camps, which takes place systematically and usually without regular trials.