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Report: Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, E/CN.4/1996/4 (excerpt) [p.95]

Economic and Social Council


25 January 1996

Original: ENGLISH


Fifty-second session

Item 10 of the provisional agenda


Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

Report by the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Bacre Waly Ndiaye, submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1995/73


113. The Special Rapporteur continued to receive reports relating to the application of the death penalty in China, in which concern was expressed at the large number and broad range of crimes subject to capital punishment, which included non-violent offences. According to the information received, 2,496 death sentences and 1,791 executions were recorded in 1994. The Special Rapporteur has also been informed that in death penalty cases, lawyers, when available, usually have no more than two days to prepare the defence. Allegedly, death sentences are often decided upon in advance of the trial by �adjucation committees�, whose decisions reportedly are rarely challenged by the courts. Allegations have also been received, according to which the death penalty tends to be imposed disproportionately on people of low social standing who do not have access to a proper legal defence.

114. It has also been reported thet executed prisoners are being used as a source of supply of body organs for medical transplantation. In this context, the Special Rapporteur received alarming information according to which execution procedures prescribed by Chinese law are sometimes violated in order to facilitate harvesting of prisoners� organs. In this connection, it has been reported that some of the executions carried out are deliberately mishandled to ensure that prisoners are not yet dead when their organs are removed. These allegations were transmitted to the Government by letter dated 22 August 1995.

Allegations transmitted

115. The Special Rapporteur sent seven urgent appeals expressing fear for the lives and physical integrity of the following persons: (...)

Lodroe Gyatso, of Tibetan origin, imprisoned in Drapchi prison, reportedly sentenced to death after having been accused of shouting pro-independence slogans in prison (7 June 1995);

117. Furthermore, the Special Rapporteur urged the authorities to investigate the following cases of alleged deaths in custody: Gyaltsen Kalsang, alias Kalsang Dolma Gangong, a 24-year-old Tibetan nun who reportedly died in Drapchi prison as a result of beatings sustained during imprisonment; Tashi Tsering, a Tibetan monk who reportedly died as a result of ill-treatment sustained whilst serving a serving a seven-year prison term at Drapchi prison;

Cherub Ngawang, a 15-year-old Tibetan nun who reportedly died at her home three months after her release from Trisam Re-education through Labour camp, as a result of ill-treatment suffered in custody; Zheng Musheng, who died while in custody at Dongkou County Public Security Bureau eight days after his arrest.

118. The Special Rapporteur also transmitted the case of Tamdin Tsering, 26, reportedly beaten to death by four Chinese forest officers for unknown reasons.

Communication received

122. The Government also provided information regarding the case of Lodroe Gyatso, and stated that the allegations transmitted were inaccurate. Lodroe Gyatso was sentenced to 15 years� imprisonment for deliberate homicide and to a further period of 6 years for his subversive activities while in prison. As he did not appeal when the sentence was announced, the judgement had entered into force. Lodroe was serving his term in a Tibetan prison and was in good health. It was further stated that he was never beaten by prison staff while in detention (3 August 1995).

125. In view of the alarming allegations received, the Special Rapporteur reiterates his interest in visiting China, to study in situ questions relating to the right to life. The Government has not yet replied to the Special Rapporteurs inquiries , which were sent in November 1992, September 1993, September 1994 and August 1995, regarding the proposed visit.

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