Skip to content Skip to navigation

Rights Activists Launch Signature Campaign to Demand Investigation of Cao Shunli’s Death

March 14, 2014

The statement condemns the Chinese government’s persecution of Cao Shunli that led to her death and lists the following demands:

  1. Investigate and make public details of Cao’s detention and her condition between September 14, 2013 and the time of her death;
  2. Investigate and make public the cause and the precise time of Cao’s death;
  3. Investigate the criminal liability of those who participated in Cao’s persecution that led to her death and bring them to justice;
  4. Make a public apology to the people of the nation for the persecution of Cao that led to her death.

Petition to Condemn the Chinese Government’s Persecution of Cao Shunli that Led to Her Death

 

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:

  1. Investigate and make public the details between Cao’s detention on September 14, 2013 and the time of her death;
  2. Investigate and make public the specific cause and the precise time of Cao’s death;
  3. Investigate the criminal liability of those who participated in Cao’s persecution that led to her death and bring them to justice;
  4. Make a public apology to the people across the nation for the persecution of Cao that led to her death.

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

Sign the petition: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ipEtKyluRVPCg2dOKxb65jSzgt-YITWRo-OrLCimDSs/viewform

See the petitioners’ list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsKDF8_HXe4IdEk2QnZLNVlZUjJvcl9OUF9UUjRzaHc&usp=sharing

Explore Topics

709 Crackdown Access to Information Access to Justice Administrative Detention All about law Arbitrary Detention
Asset Transparency Bilateral Dialogue Black Jail Book Review Business And Human Rights Censorship
Charter 08 Children Chinese Law Circumvention technology Citizen Activism Citizen Journalists
Citizen Participation Civil Society Commentary Communist Party Of China Constitution Consumer Safety
Contending views Corruption Counterterrorism Courageous Voices Cultural Revolution Culture Matters
Current affairs Cyber Security Daily Challenges Democratic And Political Reform Demolition And Relocation  Dissidents
Education Elections Enforced Disappearance Environment Ethnic Minorities EU-China
Family Planning Farmers Freedom of Association Freedom of Expression Freedom of Press Freedom of Religion
Government Accountability Government regulation Government transparency Hong Kong House Arrest HRIC Translation
Hukou Human Rights Council Human rights developments Illegal Search And Detention Inciting Subversion Of State Power Information Control 
Information technology Information, Communications, Technology (ICT) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) International Human Rights International perspective International Relations
Internet Internet Governance JIansanjiang lawyers' rights defense Judicial Reform June Fourth Kidnapping
Labor Camps Labor Rights Land, Property, Housing Lawyer's rights Lawyers Legal System
Letters from the Mainland Major Event (Environment, Food Safety, Accident, etc.) Mao Zedong Microblogs (Weibo) National People's Congress (NPC) New Citizens Movement
Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Olympics One country, two systems Online Activism Open Government Information Personal stories
Police Brutality Political commentary Political Prisoner Politics Prisoner Of Conscience Probing history
Propaganda Protests And Petitions Public Appeal Public Security Racial Discrimination Reeducation-Through-Labor
Rights Defenders Rights Defense Rule Of Law Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Special Topic State compensation
State Secrets State Security Subversion Of State Power Surveillance Technology Thoughts/Theories
Tiananmen Mothers Tibet Torture Typical cases United Nations US-China 
Uyghurs, Uighurs Vulnerable Groups Women Youth Youth Perspective