BEIJING – Chinese activists on Monday, the second anniversary of the death of Cao Shunli in detention after she was denied medical attention, condemned the impunity enjoyed by authorities as deaths in custody are not investigated.
Cao, a law graduate who began recording human rights violations in China, was arrested in September 2013 from the Beijing airport as she was leaving for Geneva to attend a UN human rights session.
“After her death, no official has been sentenced and neither has the government offered an apology. The case is not closed. We have to continue seeking accountability, direct or indirect,” Cao’s friend and fellow activist Hu Jia told EFE on Monday.
“If an investigation into what happened is not conducted, (detained lawyer) Gao Zhisheng could be the next Cao; I, myself can become another such case,” the activist asserted.
Hu, who has been under house arrest in Beijing since the last two years, could not mark the anniversary of his friend’s death with a protest as he was forced to move to Guangdong while the Chinese parliament holds its plenary session in Beijing.
Activists, dissidents and petitioners – aggrieved citizens who travel to Beijing to seek justice from the government – come in large numbers during the annual session of the National People’s Congress, attended by political leaders from all over the country, trying to take advantage of the huge media attention during the session.
The legislative building on iconic Tiananmen Square, is, however, cordoned off and any protests are repressed by the police and armed forces, deployed in the capital for the gathering.
However, in Shanghai around 20 activists carried out a small demonstration calling for an investigation into Cao’s death, according to Chinese human rights group Weiquanqang.