Statement by the spokesperson of High Representative Catherine Ashton on the sentencing of human rights activists in China (04/01/2012)

The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today: 

"The High Representative regrets the decisions taken in late December to sentence the Chinese human rights activists Chen Wei and Chen Xi to 9 and 10 years in prison respectively. This follows the recent sentencing of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng to 3 years imprisonment. She remains particularly concerned about the case of human rights defender Ni Yulan, particularly in view of Mrs Ni's poor health.


The European Union is preoccupied with the deterioration of the situation for human rights

activists in China and will continue to follow these cases attentively.


The EU attaches great importance to the respect of human rights all over the world."