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Death Of A Chinese Dissident


Friends of human right activist Cao Shunli stand in front of an intensive care unit where Cao is hospitalized as they are not allowed to go inside. Beijing, China, Mar. 1, 2014.

According to reports, Chinese dissident Cao Shunli died in a Chinese hospital after being denied medical treatment for several months.

According to reports, Chinese dissident Cao Shunli died in a Chinese hospital after being denied medical treatment for several months. Repeated requests by Ms. Cao’s family for her to receive medical treatment for serious health problems were denied. She was only 52.

The United States is “deeply disturbed” by Ms. Cao’s death, according to a March 15 statement issued by State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki.

The statement notes that Chinese authorities detained Ms. Cao in September 2013 while she was on her way to participate in civil society meetings in preparation for China’s Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council last October. The United States repeatedly raised its concerns about her detention, including her deteriorating heath, with Chinese authorities.

This act of retribution against Ms. Cao is part of a systematic pattern of arrests and detentions of public interest lawyers, labor and Internet activists, journalists, religious leaders and others who challenge official Chinese policies and actions.


The United States continues to urge China to uphold its international human rights commitments and cease harassment of activists and journalists, and their families, for peacefully expressing their views.

The United States continues to be concerned about the human rights situation in China and will continue to urge Chinese authorities to guarantee all Chinese citizens the protections and freedoms to which they are entitled under China’s international human rights commitments.
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