Detained China dissident Cao Shunli near death-close friend

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Prominent Chinese human rights activist Cao Shunli, detained in September for staging sit-ins at the Foreign Ministry, has organ failure and only a few days to live after being denied medical treatment in detention, said a close friend on Saturday. Cao's death would generate an outcry from China's fledgling rights community and criticism from the West, which has expressed concern about her case. News of Cao's deteriorating health comes two days before the start of a session in Geneva of the U.N. Human Rights Council, a body to which China was elected with controversy last November. "Yesterday at 10 am, the hospital informed the family members to rush to the hospital and said the condition is terminal," Liu Xiaofang, a close friend of Cao, told Reuters.