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Honour the legacy of Chinese activist Cao Shunli by displaying her bust in Geneva

Honour the legacy of Chinese activist Cao Shunli by displaying her bust in Geneva

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This petition has been created by Marianne B. and may not represent the views of the Avaaz community.
Marianne B.
started this petition to
Administrative Council of the City of Geneva
In China, like everywhere else, people want to live in dignity. They want to be able to express themselves freely and treat each other with fairness and respect. However, the government perceives efforts to create a more inclusive, diverse, rights-respecting and just Chinese society as a threat to its power.

Cao Shunli, a brave Chinese human rights defender, attempted to speak truth to power by bringing the human rights situation in China to the attention of the United Nations. Her unwavering dedication led to her arbitrary detention by the Chinese authorities and ultimately to her tragic death in custody ten years ago, on 14 March 2014, after spending six months facing ill-treatment without adequate medical care in custody. Despite repeated calls by UN experts, Cao’s death has never been impartially investigated.

Cao’s story is not an isolated incident. It is emblematic of the broader crackdown on those who defend human rights in China. Many like her have been unjustly imprisoned, harassed, or forcibly disappeared. Many suffer from intimidation and reprisals for attempting to cooperate with the United Nations, including by coming to Geneva like Cao tried to do.

Today, as we mark the tenth anniversary of Cao Shunli’s death, we request the Administrative Council of the City of Geneva to positively consider the installation of a bust in Geneva paying tribute to the renowned Chinese woman human rights defender.

Geneva has earned its reputation as a centre for human rights and diplomacy, serving as a beacon of hope for thousands who seek justice and respect for their fundamental rights, reaching to the Geneva-based United Nations human rights bodies. By setting up such a statue, the City of Geneva would honour not only the tireless work of Cao Shunli, but also demonstrate international solidarity with all human rights defenders who believe in and engage with the UN human rights mechanisms based in Geneva despite the grave risks they may face. It will build up their resilience, and amplify their voices and work, which often goes unnoticed or is suppressed. This memorial will also be a reminder to all State representatives who come to the UN in Geneva that reprisals are unacceptable, and send a message to all perpetrators that we will never allow impunity to prevail.  

Posted (Updated )