Phayul: HRW demands medical care for imprisoned activists, political prisoners

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

By Tenzin Monlam
[Monday, May 09, 2016 18:32]

■ Dharamshala, May 9: The New York-based human rights monitoring organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged China to provide adequate medical health care to the imprisoned activists and political prisoners, stating ‘denial of medical care amounts to cruel and inhuman treatment in violation of the United Nations Convention Against Torture’.

“Chinese officials are earning an ugly reputation over their willingness to let political prisoners get terribly sick – and even die – in detention,” Sophie Richardson, Director at HRW (China) said in light of the health risk faced by veteran activist Guo Feixiong, 49, and journalist Gao Yu (72).

The director also added that the only appropriate response is for ‘authorities to immediately facilitate access to adequate medical care’ for all those in need.

Sophie Richardson, HRW
Despite approving medical care to the prisoners under the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, China has violated and failed to provide access to adequate medical care, activists argue.

Prominent Tibetan political prisoner Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche died in Chuandong prison in Chengdu on July 12, 2015 under suspicious circumstances. The relatives and close aides who attended the cremation of Tulku Tenzin Delek inside the prison claimed that the Philanthropist lama had been poisoned.

The 65-year old religious figure had been imprisoned for 13 years on baseless charges after a trial that did not meet minimum international standards, rights group claim. Before his death there were repeated reports that he was being tortured and that he was in deteriorating health.

Likewise, many reports have come out of Tibet on political prisoners being left in crippling condition, on death bed or succumbing to injuries sustained due to excessive torture during their time in prison.

According to the database of Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) there are 29 cases of death in detention and over 2,000 Tibetan political prisoners.

“It’s bad enough that China sends peaceful activists and journalists to prison for years. But to deprive them of medical care even to the point of allowing their death is the ultimate in inhumane treatment,” Richardson said.

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