Detained activist wins China rights award
Chinese Human Rights Defenders fear for Su Changlan's health after prolonged detention without medical aid
Guangdong rights activist Su Changlan in an undated photo. (Photo courtesy of HRCChina.org)
A detained activist, who has been in pre-trial detention for more than two years, received a prestigious human rights award March 14 from a coalition of Chinese human rights groups.
Su Changlan, 45, is the third recipient of the Cao Shunli Memorial Award for Human Rights Defenders, in honor of her work "promoting human rights at the grassroots level in China," Radio Free Asia quoted the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) network as saying on its website.
There are growing concerns for her health after a prolonged period in police detention with no medical treatment, the group said.
"Su Changlan's health has worsened in detention due to a lack of medical treatment, a form of torture commonly used against incarcerated human rights defenders in China," CHRD said.
It said Su is suffering from heart arrhythmia and tremors in her hands and feet because of denied and inadequate care for hyperthyroidism, which can be fatal if not properly treated.
The authorities have refused multiple requests for Su's release on medical parole.
Born in the southwestern province of Guangxi, Su was an elementary schoolteacher before being fired in retaliation for her rights activism in the early 2000s, CHRD said.
She helped rural women in Guangdong province file lawsuits, appeals and official complaints, some of which led to compensation for the loss of their land rights.
Her husband Chen Dequan told Radio Free Asia he didn't believe the award would change the authorities' treatment of his wife.
"I don't think that they'll pay any attention to it," Chen said. "Lots of people around the world have expressed concern about her case, but they still keep dragging their feet. We still don't even have a verdict."
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