Serious concern for health of detained human rights defender Cao Shunli

February 25, 2014

Activists gather at the Beijing hospital where rights defender Cao Shunli was hospitalized in critical condition on Feb. 16. The rights defenders in the photo were not allowed to see Cao. She had been denied medical treatment while in detention, and was in a coma by the time authorities took her to an emergency facility. (Sound of Hope)

(human rights defenders in the photo were not allowed to see Cao – Sound of Hope)

Critically ill human rights defender Cao Shunli, who was prevented from attending a United Nations human rights review of China last fall, was taken to intensive care on 16 February 2014 after being denied medical treatment for months while in detention. “Cao Shunli is unconscious and on a ventilator,” her lawyer Wang Yu explained to Radio Free Asia. “She can’t talk and her condition is extremely serious… We think her life is in danger, but the hospital won’t give us any details; they just mumble something when we ask them,” he continued. A nurse blocked the entrance to the intensive care unit and told rights defender Wang Ling that Cao was “deeply unconscious” and would not recognize him, according to Human Rights in China (HRIC). Though Cao was initially taken to Beijing’s Qinghe Emergency Center, she was then transferred to an Army hospital, though her family requested that she be taken to an acute care hospital. Police at the hospital prevented activists from entering the hospital, and about 20 of them were taken to police substations for questioning, Wang Ling told HRIC.

[Cao and fellow rights defender Chen Jianfang were detained on 13 September, 2013 at Beijing’s International airport as they were leaving to fly to Geneva to take part in activities associated with the United Nations Human Rights Council UPR review of China’s human rights record. On the eve of the review, 21 October, she was formally arrested and charged with “creating a disturbance,” and has been detained since then. See earlier posts:

https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/un-alarmed-by-reprisals-against-chinese-activists/ and https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/cao-shunli/

Also:  http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/CaoShunli

2 Responses to “Serious concern for health of detained human rights defender Cao Shunli”


  1. […] Today, 14 March, Amnesty International brought out a statement severely criticizing China‘s treatment of human rights defenders in need of medical care. Cao Shunli, 52, died from organ failure on Friday at a hospital in Beijing, after five months in detention. Repeated requests by Cao’s family for her to receive medical treatment for serious health problems were denied.[ https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/serious-concern-for-health-of-detained-human-rights-defender…] […]


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