Sunday, 16 March 2014

Denial of medical treatment to government critics is "callous and calculating" - Amnesty

The Chinese government is using denial of medical treatment as a way of punishing critics, says Amnesty International, following the death of Cao Shunli in Beijing.
Ms Cao was a legal rights activist who was imprisoned for five months after trying to go to Geneva to attend a human rights training course. She died of organ failure on Friday at a hospital in Beijing, shortly after being released from five months in detention.Her family say authorities rejected repeated request for Cao Shunli to receive medical treatment for serious health problems. She had tuberculosis in both her lungs, cirrhosis of the liver and uterine fibroids.
Cao Shunli faced charges of “picking quarrels and making trouble” after organizing a sit-in protest along with other campaigners outside China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Amnesty said the Chinese government should allow all detainees to access medical care, and the case of denying it to Cao Shuni was reprehensible.
"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.”
Her death has prompted criticism from the UK and US governments, but has not been reported in Chinese media. The Chinese government has made no comment on her case and blog and social media posts about Cao Shunli have been censored in China.

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