Detained Activist Cao Shunli Dies After Treatment Denied

cao

For China Digital Times reports:  Human rights activist Cao Shunli has died in hospital after being denied treatment for tuberculosis, liver disease and other conditions until last month. Cao was detained on September 14th after taking part in a two-month sit-in outside the Foreign Ministry in Beijing, calling for public participation in a U.N.-mandated national human rights report.

For China Digital Times reports:  Human rights activist Cao Shunli has died in hospital after being denied treatment for tuberculosis, liver disease and other conditions until last month. Cao was detained on September 14th after taking part in a two-month sit-in outside the Foreign Ministry in Beijing, calling for public participation in a U.N.-mandated national human rights report. She was formally arrested the following month for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” From Sui-Lee Wee at Reuters:

“On Sept 14 … she was perfectly fine and going to Europe for a trip. Now she’s gone. ’s wishes were never accomplished,” dissident Hu Jia told Reuters.

“When the weather gets warmer, we will stand outside the door of the foreign ministry, continue to petition and call for the supervision of the government’s actions. We will remember this date.”

[…] Cao’s family saw wounds on her body, Liu Weiguo, a lawyer who has been acting for Cao, told Reuters, citing another of her lawyers, Wang Yu. But it is unclear how they were inflicted.

“The hospital is not willing to let the lawyer and the family look at the body,” Liu said. [Source]

Amnesty International’s Anu Kultalahti described the authorities’ behavior towards Cao as “callous and calculating,” and said that they now “have blood on their hands.” Human Rights Watch’s Sophie Richardson urged greater international scrutiny of China’s treatment of activists:

Chinese officials have claimed in recent days that, “No one suffers reprisal for taking part in lawful activities or international mechanisms.”  “Citizens have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state organ or official.” “There is no so-called issue of suppressing ‘human rights defenders’.”

These statements should be at the core of all other governments’ interventions in Geneva next week, at the final phase of the ’ Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of China.

[…] Everything about the circumstances of [Cao’s] case – the harassment she faced, her arbitrary detention, the ludicrous and legally baseless charges against her, the reluctance or refusal to swiftly grant access to adequate medical care – suggests it’s unlikely the Chinese government will voluntarily agree to an independent, credible investigation into her death. But with her passing, the onus is on all those concerned about human rights in China to battle for the kind of transparency for which Cao paid with her life…Read moreChina Digital Times

Twitter / PabloDiez —   — China Digital Times



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