On the 19th of May 2023, on the occasion of the 4th session of negotiations since the beginning of the summit, China defends its position upon the elimination of torture on prison’s detainees. We had the pleasure to interview the delegate of Chinese, in order to know more on their stands and their strategy to defend their interests.
Global Times (hereafter GT): How does China define and categorize torture within its legal framework?
Chinese Delegate (hereafter CD): In its legal framework, China prohibits torture. However, although it is written in our legal framework that China is prohibiting torture, there is accusations. We are aware of these accusations, but we deny them. The West is wrong.
GT: What specific measures and policies has China implemented to prevent and eliminate torture in prisons?
CD: As I mentioned before, prohibiting torture is in our legal framework, which is the most efficient way to implement this regulation. Moreover, we accepted the supervision of the United Nations, occasionally, in order to make sure we complywith this law.
GT: How does China monitor torture in prisons, and what mechanisms are in place to hold perpetrators accountable?
China received visits from United Nations supervisors, already two supervisors from the CD: United Nations came. These visits are therefore punctual and not permanent. To make it clear, this is not because we are not respecting our laws. It is because we greatly value our privacy and our sovereignty.
GT: What progress or improvements has China made in recent years regarding the prevention and elimination of torture in its prison system?
CD: We did what we could, we ratified the United Nations convention in 1988. the USA, report on Canada, minister of 155 prisoners tortured, France in the Netherlands
GT: To what extend do you think this discussion is relevant?
CD: This is a very relevant discussion because torture in prison is a remaining problem. However, the way the West wants to solve the problem is not the way to go. We surely should not create an independent body. This problem should be solved in a domestic way, in a private way. We have to do much together, but not in this direction, and the West has to understand this.
GT: Do you feel hypocrisy on the behalf of some of the delegates within this negotiation?
CD: Yes, there is a lot of hypocrisy. The West keeps blaming us for not respecting Human Rights and still practicing torture on our prisoners. However, it is important to note that other nations also still participate in that. The United States for instance, has had 155 cases of torture on prisoners these past years. Also, France, in which a Dutch prisoner was tortured.
GT: Do you think you will reach a consensus?
CD: Probably yes. Most of the present countries during the summit are not part of the Western block. Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Serbia are our allies and understand our values, privacy, security and sovereignty.
Overall, the delegate of China agrees that there is need to find a common solution against torture. However, they insist on the fact that a lot has been done already and China now needs a proper plan that the West does not provide them with. The delegate of China also highlights the hypocrisy that the United States and France demonstrate. Nevertheless, China hopes to find a consensus by the end of this summit as multiple countries align with the position of China.
- Alodia Heijmans, Correspondent for the Global Times