rule of law

US China Commission: Treatment of Detained Activist Cao Shunli Contradicted International Law

According to a report issued by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, the Chinese government’s treatment of recently deceased activist Cao Shunli, who had been under detention since September 2013, contradicted international laws regarding the treatment of ill prisoners.

UN Delays Adoption of Chinese Human Rights Report

In response to protests from a NGO on the UN assembly floor calling for a moment of silence for Cao Shunli, a civil society activist who recently died in detention after failing to receive adequate medical treatment, the UN Human Rights Council postponed the adoption of China’s Universal Periodic Review, a self-assessment of domestic human rights developments.

Chinese Legal Experts: Prosecutors Increasingly Torturing Defendants and Witnesses

According to legal experts, Chinese prosecutors are increasingly torturing witnesses and suspected criminals during criminal interrogations. Prior to the implementation of criminal procedure reforms in 2012 aimed at barring the use of confessions obtained through police torture, police were often tasked with coercing statements from witnesses and criminal defendants.

Chinese Authorities Deny Responsibility for Death of Detained Activist

Despite denying her timely, adequate medical care while she was under detention, Chinese authorities have denied any responsibility for the death of activist Cao Shunli, who died in a Beijing hospital on Friday, March 14. Although Cao suffered from tuberculosis, liver diseases, and other ailments, Chinese authorities denied her requests for medical parole to seek necessary treatment.

Chinese Authorities Formally Arrest Uighur Scholar Ilham Tohti

Chinese authorities formally arrested prominent Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti, charging him with “secession” in relation to his public advocacy of Uighur rights. Beijing police detained him at his home over a month ago and then held him at a detention center in Xinjiang before formally leveling charges. If convicted, Tohti faces a sentence ranging from 10 years to life in prison. The crime of secession is also punishable by death.

More Than 20 Activists Detained After Trying to Visit Cao Shunli in the Hospital

Police detained more than 20 individuals who attempted to visit activist Cao Shunli at the 309 Military Hospital in Beijing. One activist, Wang Ling, said that a nurse blocked the entrance to the intensive care unit where Cao is undergoing treatment, telling the visitors that she is deeply unconscious and would not recognize them.

American University Law School Publishes LRF's Commentary on the Abolition of Reeducation-Through-Labor

American University Washington College of Law published the online version of the Laogai Research Foundation's commentary on the abolition of China's reeducation-through-labor system, which the journal published in print in December 2013. Titled "A Jail by Any Other Name," the article puts forth the argument that although the abolition of this relic of Maoist repression is a welcome development, such reform does not address the more fundamental injustice of officially sanctioned arbitrary detention that underpins the laojiao system.