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to Cao Shunli. She died in 2014 while in detention after trying to attend a session of the council, where NGOs can speak.

Cao had been detained in September 2013 while attempting to board a flight from Beijing to Geneva. She had planned to participate in a human rights training course. The Chinese government accused her of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” after she advocated for civil society participation in the country’s human rights review. She died in custody in March 2014, reportedly due to lack of medical care.

The statement presented to the council called for an investigation into Cao’s death and the circumstances surrounding it. It also condemned China’s efforts to silence human rights defenders and restrict civil society participation in international fora. The Chinese delegation objected to the statement, claiming it was politically motivated and interfered in the country’s internal affairs.

The UN Human Rights Council is a forum for discussing and addressing human rights issues around the world. NGOs and civil society organizations play a crucial role in bringing attention to abuses and advocating for change. Cao’s case highlights the risks faced by activists who challenge oppressive governments and seek to promote human rights.

China has a history of cracking down on dissent and silencing critics. The government uses a combination of censorship, surveillance, and intimidation to control public discourse and suppress dissenting voices. Activists like Cao Shunli face harassment, detention, and even death for speaking out against human rights abuses.

Despite China’s efforts to block discussion of Cao’s case at the UN Human Rights Council, the international community must continue to shine a light on human rights abuses in the country. By holding governments accountable for their actions and advocating for the rights of individuals like Cao, NGOs and civil society organizations can work towards a more just and equitable world. The fight for human rights is ongoing, and it is essential that activists continue to speak truth to power, even in the face of repression and resistance.

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