The statement condemns the Chinese government’s persecution of Cao Shunli that led to her death and lists the following demands:
At about 4pm on March 14, 2014, prominent human rights activist Cao Shunli died at the 309 Military Hospital in Beijing.
On September 14, 2013, Cao was detained by authorities at the Beijing Capital Airport as she was en route to Geneva to attend the Universal Periodic Review organized by the United Nations Human Rights Council. After disappearing for a month, it was finally discovered that she had been criminally detained at the Chaoyang Detention Center in Beijing for alleged “illegal assembly.” Later, on October 21, Cao was formally arrested on suspicion of “provoking disturbances.”
While being held at the Chaoyang Detention Center, Cao’s health deteriorated rapidly. She suffered from several conditions, including tuberculosis, liver disease, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. The authorities refused to give her medical treatment. Cao’s family and lawyer’s repeated requests to have her released on medical parole were also all turned down. Cao was finally taken to the Beijing 999 Emergency Center on February 19, 2014 after she fell into a coma. She was later transferred to the 309 Military Hospital. Cao was declared to be in extremely critical condition several times until passing away today.
We believe Cao Shunli died of persecution. She was murdered by the Chinese government. Anyone could be the next Cao Shunli, disappearing without a clue and dying for no reason.
We hereby condemn the Chinese government’s persecution of Cao Shunli that led to hear death, and demand the following:
We hope the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, national governments and international human rights organizations can pay close attention to the death of Cao Shunli, participate in the investigation, make their positions clear and urge the Chinese government to respond to our demands.
Cao Shunli graduated from Peking University with a master’s degree in law. She previously held positions in the Ministry of Labor and Personnel, now the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. After exposing corruption in the housing allocation process in the Ministry, she was dismissed in retaliation. Thereafter, she became a rights activist, providing legal assistance to petitioners. In 2008, she launched the “Beijing Rights Protection Tour,” aiming to increase the participation of disadvantaged groups in drafting the “National Human Rights Action Plan,” following international norms. She collected more than 1,000 proposals. As a result, she was sent to Re-education Through Labor for one year. In 2010, after being released for 16 days, she was again sent to Re-education Through Labor for one year and three months due to tightened control in the run up to the Shanghai World Expo.
Initiators: Su Yutong, Wen Yunchao, Wang Lihong, Hu Jia and Teng Biao
Authors: Wen Yunchao and Su Yutong
March 14, 2014
See the petitioners’ list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsKDF8_HXe4IdEk2QnZLNVlZUjJvcl9OUF9UUjRzaHc&usp=sharing