Govt of Canada statement at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

February, 2009

WebCast: [English] [Chinese\English\French] 2 Minutes

"Canada applauds China's success in improving living standards in the last 30 years of reform and opening up policy.

"Canada hopes that China's National Action Plan on Human Rights will lead to an early ratification of the ICCPR.

"Canada recommends that China accelerate legislative and judicial reforms, particularly on death penalty and administrative detention, to be in compliance with the ICCPR.

"Canada welcomes Chinese measures to reduce immediate death sentences, reserving them for "exceptionally grave" crimes, and reinstating Supreme People's Court authority to review death sentences. Canada recommends China reduce the number of crimes carrying the death penalty and regularly publish detailed statistics on death penalty and regularly publish detailed statistics on death penalty use.

"Canada recommends China abolish all forms of administrative detention, including "Re-Education Through Labour". Canada recommends China eliminate abuse of psychiatric committal.

"Canada recommends China provide those held on state security charges with all fundamental legal safeguards, including access to counsel, public trial and sentencing, and eligibility for sentence reduction and parole.

"Canada is deeply concerned about reports of arbitrary detention of ethnic minorities members, including Tibetans, Uyghurs and Mongols, as well as religious believers, including Falun Gong practitioners, without information about their charges, their location and wellbeing.

"We recommend China take immediate measures to implement the recommendations of November last by the Committee Against Torture, notably on the inadmissibility of declarations made under torture, and the non-refoulement of refugees from North Korea.

"We recommend China respond positively to outstanding requests made by several UN Special Procedures, including the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to visit China, and to facilitate an early visit by the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"We look forward to continuing our cooperation with China in the field of human rights.

"Canada thanks China for its presentation and support for the UPR process. "