Reuters: U.N. envoy looks at Falun Gong torture allegations

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations torture investigator said on Thursday he
was looking into allegations by the Falun Gong group that thousands of its followers
were being held at a Chinese "concentration camp" and some had been

The banned spiritual movement alleged this month that up to 6,000 people
at a time were kept at a state-run camp in the Sujiatun district of the northern
city of Shenyang, where it said some had been killed and their organs sold.

allegation is Falun Gong practitioners are being used for the sale of organs and
human tissues … According to the allegation nobody has so far left this concentration
camp," said Manfred Nowak, U.N. special rapporteur on torture and other cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

"I am presently in the
process of investigating as far as I can these allegations … If I come to the
conclusion that it is a serious and well-founded allegation, then I will officially
submit it to attention of the Chinese government," he told a news briefing.

Nowak, who visited China late last year after a decade of negotiations,
reported last week he found torture widespread in the country, home to the world’s
biggest prison population.

China has denied earlier abuse and torture charges
made by Nowak and asked the U.N. envoy to think again.

The Falun Gong bulletin
said the allegations were based on "testimony from an insider and formal
journalist from China", who also alleged the camp had a crematorium and many

Nowak, an Austrian law professor, said if the allegations proved
true it would be a serious violation of many basic human rights, including the
right to life and the right not to be subjected to torture or ill-treatment.

his report last week he called on China to abolish its "re-education through
labour" system and urged authorities to release all political prisoners and
people held for exercising their right to freedom of speech, assembly and religion.

Posting date: 31/Mar/2006
Original article date: 30/Mar/2006
Media Report


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