China arbitrarily detains American woman: UN
July 6, Beijing: A United Nations panel has says China has arbitrarily detained an American woman in violation of international human rights norms, bringing her case back into public attention ahead of a visit to Beijing by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon this week.
China has detained international business consultant Phan "Sandy" Phan-Gillis, 56, for more than a year, accused of stealing state secrets.
Ban is scheduled to meet President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Thursday and Premier Li Keqiang on Friday, though it isn't clear if Ban plans to raise Phan-Gillis' case in talks with the leaders.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said that she hasn't been brought before judicial authorities or given access to legal assistance, in an opinion released last week.
The San Francisco-based human rights group Dui Hua Foundation said Tuesday that it was the first time that the working group in its 25-year history had deemed an American citizen to have been arbitrarily detained by China. A detention is deemed arbitrary if it has no legal basis or legal rights are ignored, reports said.
The UN working group has called for Phan-Gillis to be released or given proper assistance by a legal counsel, the Associated Press reported.
The Oslo Times International News Network