Death by torture under Chinese custody

Death by torture under Chinese custody
Tibet. Source: Jack L/Flickr, 2018.



Fleur Harmsen


Tibet and Human Rights Researcher,


Global Human Rights Defense.


  Ngodup Tsering, a Tibetan man, has died after Chinese authorities arrested him on the 28th of September. He was arrested after providing food and edibles to an old age home in Dartsedo County. Chinese authorities stated that he was an “outsider” that undermined the help of the officials by “providing food and other necessities to the elders”. The authorities tortured him for exhibiting “improper facial expressions”, resulting in his death the following day. The man was a taxi chauffeur and suppored his family, cinluding his mother, wife and two children. 

The treatment of Ngodup Tsering by the Chinese authorities amounts to a violation of international human rights law. Indeeed, article 1 of the Convention Against Torture (CAT) explains that “torture” encompasses all acts that intentionally inflict severe pain or suffering wether physical or mental for obtaining information, punishing or intimidating and coering an individual for any reason based on discrimination of any kind. This right cannot be derogated from as it is a jus cogens principle. China’s beatings and torture of Ngodup Tsering, amouting to his death, direclty violates the right to be free from torture and inhumane treatment.

In addition, 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) also states that all individuals have the right to life, liberty and security of person. This right ensureing that no one shall be subjected to to arbitrary detention and arrest. It also ensures that, when deprived of one’s liberty, that individual in question will be treated with humanity and with dignity. The severe beating of Ngodup Tsering by the Chinese authorities thus violate this right. 

Sources and further reading:

Lhamo, C. (2022, October 4).Tibetan man from Dartsedo dies in Chinese custody. Phayul Newsdesk. Retrieved October 4, 2022, from