What will Chinese authorities have to say about Cao Shunli’s death?

March 15, 2014

Chinese Government Responsible for the Death of Cao Shunli

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-cao-shunli/]

Cao Shunli’s death exposes just how callous and calculating the Chinese authorities are prepared to be to silence critics. The authorities today have blood on their hands.” said Anu Kultalahti, China Researcher at Amnesty International.  Cao Shunli was a courageous woman who paid the ultimate price for the fight for human rights in China.  She should have never been detained in the first place; but to then deny her the medical treatment she desperately needed is a most barbaric act.”

Cao had led attempts to allow activists to contribute to China’s national human rights report, ahead of a UPR review at the UN Human Rights Council in 2013 and was arrested in September as she attempted to travel to Geneva to attend a human rights training course. Her detention was seen by many as a reprisal for her wanting to contribute to a public discussion on violations in China – the charges against her concerned “picking quarrels and making trouble” The full Council is expected to hear the result of the UPR session on Wednesday 19 March. It will be interesting to see how the States and in particular China is going to react to this tragic event.

Many other NGOs and media have come out with statements about the death of Cao Shunli including Front Line (“Chinese Government Responsible for the Death of Cao Shunli“) and the International Service for Human Rights (http://www.ishr.ch/news/un-human-rights-council-must-demand-accountability-death-cao-shunli).

2 Responses to “What will Chinese authorities have to say about Cao Shunli’s death?”


  1. […] What will Chinese authorities have to say about Cao Shunli’s death? (thoolen.wordpress.com) […]


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