Hongkong. - Chinese government measures since 2009 to curb torture by police and wrongful convictions have not gone far enough to combat abusive interrogations, Human Rights Watch said in the report "Tiger Chairs and Cell Bosses: Police Torture of Criminal Suspects in China" released on Wednesday. Government claims of a reduction in detainee abuse will be scrutinized by the United Nations Committee against Torture in November 2015.
The report, "Tiger Chairs and Cell Bosses: Police Torture of Criminal Suspects in China," is based on Human Rights Watch analysis of hundreds of newly published court verdicts from across the country and interviews with 48 recent detainees, family members, lawyers, and former officials.
Human Rights Watch found that police torture and ill-treatment of suspects in pretrial detention in China remains a serious problem. Among the findings are that detainees have been forced to spend days shackled to “tiger chairs,” hung by the wrists, and treated abusively by “cell bosses” – fellow detainees who oversee cells for the police.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Chinese government has several near-term opportunities to demonstrate its commitment to vigorously implementing existing laws, and to making key improvements to eradicate torture and ill-treatment of detainees. The Ministry of Public Security is drafting a new law to replace the 1990 Detention Center Regulations, which could address some of the legal loopholes enabling the abuse of criminal suspects. In November, China’s measures to end torture will be reviewed by the UN Committee against Torture, an independent expert body that monitors compliance with the Convention against Torture.