Visual Artists Guild condemns the de facto murder of Cao Shunli 曹順利 by authorities in Beijing in refusing medical treatment to Ms. Cao for months while she was suffering from tuberculosis, kidney disease and other ailments during her detention. It was only after she fell into a coma on February 19, 2014 that Ms. Cao was transported to a hospital at which time a doctor told a friend of Ms. Cao that she had only days to live. Ms. Cao subsequently died on March 14, 2014.
In June of 2013, Ms. Cao, a former government employee, participated in a sit-in outside the Foreign Ministry to petition for public input in China's national human rights report as well as the UN's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights. It is an irony that China, one of the worst human rights violators of the world, is a member of the UN Human Rights Council.
Ms. Cao has been active on human rights issues since 2008 and had previously been imprisoned twice for her activism.
On September 14, 2013, Ms. Cao was taken away as she boarded a flight to Geneva for an UN Human Rights training program and disappeared.
In October, 2013, Ms Cao was formally accused of "provoking quarrels and stirring trouble".
Visual Artists Guild mourns the death of a human being who paid the ultimate price for the cause of human rights in China.
Visual Artists Guild calls on US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, to demand China to provide a full accounting of Ms. Cao's death and to bring those involved to justice.
We further ask Ambassador Samantha Power to instruct Acting
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
Human Rights Council, Ambassador Peter F. Mulrean, to honor Ms.
Cao by including Ms. Cao's case in the UN UPR report.
Chair, Visual Artists Guild