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China blocks tribute to dead dissident at UN rights council

Published on Mar 21, 2014 4:14 AM

GENEVA (AFP) - China locked horns Thursday with Western nations after campaigners tried to get the UN's top human rights forum to hold a minute's silence for a dissident who died in detention.

Beijing and its allies at the UN Human Rights Council used procedural moves to block an attempt by a coalition of rights groups to pay tribute to Cao Shunli, who died March 14.

"We oppose NGOs conducting activities outside their alloted speaking time," China's envoy Wu Hailong told the council, after the International Service for Human Rights tried to use its speech-making slot to hold a silence on behalf of a broad coalition of groups.

"According to the rules, at this meeting NGOs can only make general comments and statement," he added.

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