Chinese authorities on Monday denied accusations that the death of a human rights activist was due to a denial of medical attention.
Cao Shunli, 52, was detained in September last year after staging sit ins outside the Chinese Foreign Ministry to press authorities to allow public participation in a national human rights review.
She was held as she attempted to board a flight to Geneva for a United Nations human rights meeting a formally arrested a month later.
arrested last year after staging a sit-in at China’s Foreign Ministry. She was asking authorities to allow the public to participate in a national human rights review.
She died on 14 March in a hospital in Beijing.
“The United States is deeply disturbed by reports that human rights activist Cao Shunli has passed away,” US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement at the weekend, adding that Washington had “repeatedly” raised concerns about Cao Shunli’s detention, including her deteriorating health, with Chinese authorities.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said on Monday she died as a result of multi organ failure caused by tuberculosis and denied any mistreatment.
“Cao Shunli received positive and serious treatment and her legal rights were protected,” he said.
“We have noted that some countries published mistaken remarks on the death of Cao Shunli and we want to express our strong dissatisfaction and firm objection.”
He said China was “against the intervention of some countries into China’s judicial supremacy and independence in the name of human rights.”
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