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Detained Chinese Activist Dies After Critical Illness

A prominent Chinese human rights activist has died after falling critically ill in a prison where she was denied medical treatment.

Cao Shunli passed away in a Beijing hospital after authorities had allowed her to be transferred there recently. She was suffering from liver disease and tuberculosis.

The 52-year-old dissident had campaigned for human rights in China. She was last seen publicly when she was arrested last September while preparing to travel to Geneva to participate in a human rights training program.

Activists say her medical condition worsened dramatically in a Beijing detention center because of a lack of medical treatment.

Two leading human rights groups, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, condemned Chinese authorities for her death.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry official recently said Cao had been suspected of violating laws and committing crimes. He said her case had nothing to do with the human rights situation in China.



Prior to her arrest in September, Cao took part in a sit-in in front of the Chinese Foreign Ministry to demand the Chinese public be allowed to participate in drafting a national human rights report ahead of a review by the United Nations.

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