[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

China activist dies from illness in detention

Supporters of Cao Shunli, 52, who had engaged in peaceful activism, says she was denied medical attention.

Last updated: 14 Mar 2014 18:00
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Cao Shunli's family and friends say she was denied medical treatment for at least three months. [Reuters]

A Chinese human rights activist has died after falling critically ill in detention after police denied her medical treatment for months, her brother has said.

Cao Shunli, 52, who had engaged in peaceful activism for several years, died from organ failure on Friday at a hospital in Beijing, after five months in detention.

Her lawyer, Wang Yu, told the AFP news agency that Cao became ill in November but police denied her access to medical treatment for more than three months. Authorities sent her to hospital only when when she fell unconscious after suffering organ failure in late February, the lawyer said.

Cao's brother, Cao Yunli, said. "The police are responsible. Her body was weak, she was sent to the hospital too late."

Cao was set to travel to Switzerland to take part in a UN Human Rights Council review last September but police arrested her at Beijing's international airport.

She had joined a rare protest outside China's foreign ministry in June to demand greater participation in the UN's review of human rights in China, according to London-based Amnesty International and other rights groups.

"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.

Cao suffered from tuberculosis in both her lungs, cirrhosis of the liver and uterine fibroids, the rights group said.

Beijing-based dissident Hu Jia said on his Twitter account: "The Communist Party should take full responsibility for her death."

Beijing police were not immediately available for comment on Cao's case.

China's ruling party maintains a close grip on power, and new leaders who took over in late 2012 have detained dozens of dissidents and tightened control over the Internet as well as social media.

China won a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in November along with Russia, Saudi Arabia and Cuba, despite fierce international criticism.

European countries and the US regularly condemn China on human rights, citing cases including its jailing of dissidents.

Beijing argues that its citizens enjoy increasing freedoms thanks to decades of rising prosperity.

355

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.