CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 9 December 2017

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Rights advocate dies in neglect

BEIJING (AsiaNews): Yang Tongyan, the 56-year-old recipient of the 2008 PEN Freedom to Write Award, died on November 7 from an aggressive form of brain cancer after being released from Nanjing Prison on medical parole.
 
He underwent an operation on August 23 on a brain tumour and had almost completed a 12-year sentence for posting anti-government articles online in 2006. It was his second stint in prison, already having spent a decade behind bars for counter-revolutionary crimes and taking part in the 1989 massed rally in Tiananmen Square.
 
Neither Huashan Hospital in Shanghai, where Yang was treated, nor Nanjing Prison commented on the case.
 
China has been criticised for releasing Yang shortly before death. It is the second case this year, as dissident human rights advocate, Liu Xiaobao, died in a similar manner during the summer of this year.
 
China has a history of denying medical treatment to human rights advocates. Cao Shunli died in prison in 2013 after being denied treatment. She was arrested when attempting to travel to Geneva ahead of a United Nations Review of China’s human rights record.

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