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Citizens' Square

Citizens’ Square is a virtual Democracy Wall for individuals from China to share their stories online in personal narratives, open letters, statements, and case descriptions, and through photos, court documents, and videos. While most of the posted items are in Chinese, HRIC provides in English the title and a descriptive summary of each item. On occasion, HRIC also provides English translation of the contents of the item itself.

Launched in spring 2010, Citizens’ Square has served as an uncensored platform for petitioners, rights defenders, lawyers, and other citizens to expose corruption and official malfeasance, publicize cases of abuse ranging from illegal detention to kidnapping and torture, and issue public statements, including calls for official accountability and transparency and appeals for just compensation for forced evictions.

The expansion of this virtual Democracy Wall reflects the powerful desire among Chinese citizens to assert their rights and the growing citizen activism in China. Postings on Citizens’ Square have also helped individuals and groups bring international press attention to their cases.

In Citizens’ Square, journalists, researchers, and the general public can learn more about individual cases.

Items 551 - 600 of 629
[Crackdown on Shanghai Rights activists] According to Shen Peilan (沈佩兰) , Shanghai petitioner and rights defender, Shanghai rights activist Feng Zhenghu (冯正虎) has been under house arrest for more than 20 days, and is currently sick and out of food. Shen said that on March 16, 2012, 28 Shanghai...
[Forced Eviction Case] In this public statement, Ye Guoqiang detailed his grievances against various authorities resulting from the forcible eviction of the Ye family from their home in Beijing in May 2003 to make way for Olympics-related construction. This eviction of the members from three...
In order to implement the New Countryside Plan, the Yushan Development District of Jinxiang County, Shandong Province demanded that farmers leave their land and homes and move into low-quality apartment buildings. The farmers refused to sign their eviction contracts and move. In the early morning...
[Zhu Yufu] In the statement (in Chinese), the Beijing-based dissident Zha Jianguo denounced the heavy prison term given to Zhu Yufu, the Zhejiang based dissident who was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years of deprivation of political rights for “inciting subversion of state power.”...
[Zhu Yufu] On February 10, 2012, the Zhejiang based dissident was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years of deprivation of political rights. The verdict states that he committed the following crimes: First, he operated as a member of the illegal China Democratic Party to fundraise for...
[Huangyang Village Wheat Subsidies] Instead of receiving the full sums of the wheat-growing government subsidies due them, the villagers of Huangyang were told that portions of the subsidies went to the Shangdian Township government as payments for their irrigation fees. The villagers challenge the...
[Chen Wei] Sichuan dissident Chen Wei, recently sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment on for "inciting subversion of state power," was taken to prison before meeting with his family, a meeting that the authorities had promised to grant. Wang Xiaoyan, Chen's wife, said that not being able to see...
[Zhang Hengyin, Sinopec Group] Zhang used his real name to report to Sinopec Group’s discipline inspection commission the corrupt actions of Nie Sizhi, a unit manager at the Fushun Petroleum Chemical Company, a Sinopec’s subsidiary. In 1996, Zhang was detained by the company’s public security...
[Chen Wei] On December 23, 2011, Sichuanese dissident Chen Wei (陈卫) was convicted of inciting subversion of state power for publishing nine essays on the Internet; he was sentenced to nine years in prison with two years of deprivation of political rights. His lawyers Zheng Jianwei and Liang Xiaojun...
[Ni Rong] The “Strike-Hard” campaign launched by the central government in the early 1980s led to the imprisonment of many innocent people. Fujian citizen Ni Rong was detained at the scene of an arrest of a thief. He spent four days in intensive care after being tortured. He was not allowed to hire...
[Ye Jinghuan] Ye Jinghuan (野靖环), a Beijing petitioner and rights defender, describes his beating by police when he, along with nine others, went to petition at the Letters and Visits Office of the Ministry of Public Security. The police also subjected three fellow petitioners to body search before...
[Qin Yongmin and Hu Shigen] Xu Yonghai (徐永海), a Beijing rights defender, describes the ordeal of two democracy activists who appealed for aid on behalf of Wang Guoqi, a Beijing democracy activist (who was imprisoned for 12 years) who was hospitalized: Qin Yongmin, from Wuhan, who also served 12...
On April 10, 2012, Beijing rights defender Ni Yulan (倪玉兰) was sentenced to two years and eight months of imprisonment for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” and “fraud”. Her husband, Dong Jiqin (董继勤) was sentenced to two years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” The...
A member of the Guizhou Human Rights Symposium writes that the government ban of the group on the ostensible reason that it had not registered with government, detention of its members, and formal arrest of its chief organizer Chen Xi (陈西)—not only abuse the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,...
An essay by a member of the Guizhou Human Rights Symposium on Chen Xi’s (陈西) arrest and charge of endangering national security for publishing essays online supporting human rights. Mi states that as freedom of expression is protected by the China’s Constitution, and that what the authorities did...
On November 9, 2011, 150 Shanghainese petitioners gathered to celebrate Chen Guangcheng’s birthday in a banquet at Xinxianghui Restaurant after petitioning to the municipal government. A list of attendees is included.
A profile of Zuo Xiaohuan (左晓环) , a Sichuan rights activist, written by fellow activist Huang Xiaoming. Zuo was detained by the Mianyang Municipal Public Security Bureau on May 28, 2010, and formally arrested on November 19, 2010, both on suspicion of inciting subversion of state power. Eighteen...
This open letter (CH) from Lu Qing (路青) , the wife of Ai Weiwei (艾未未) , to the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress (NPC) urges that the NPC not adopt the Draft Amendment without dropping several exceptional provisions that would allow the authorities to execute...
This appeal (CH), by Zhang Shanguang ( 张善光) of the Hunan Citizens online forum , to the Shaoyang government to provide redress and social benefits to Li Wangyang (李旺阳), who was imprisoned for 21 years for political reasons. The appeal gives the account of Li Wangyang, a worker-leader in the 1989...
[Feng Zhenghu] In this article (CH), the Shanghai-based rights activist and law educator Feng Zhenghu (冯正虎) explains the importance of a citizen’s right to file a legal case and the urgency of the fight for this right. In early 2011, Feng complied and published “ I Want to File a Complaint: A...
[Wu Zeheng] After proposing, in 1998 and 1999, government reforms, including greater government transparency, establishing non-Party oversight bodies, and ending corruption, Wu Zeheng, a Guangdong-based Buddhist leader, was sentenced to 11 years in prison on the charges of "illegal business" and "...
[Wang Lihong] On September 9, 2011, Beijing rights activist Wang Lihong was sentenced to 9 months in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” On April 16, 2010, Wang organized a protest for the Three Netizens on trial after they exposed a police cover-up of a rape and murder. The...
Lü Gengsong and his wife Lü Gengsong, his wife, his sister, and his daughter
[Lü Gengsong] Zhejiang rights defender Lu Gengsong was arrested on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power,” on August 24, 2007 for publishing articles critical of the government. The court convicted and sentenced him to four years in prison and one year of deprivation of political rights...
[Lü Gengsong] Zhejiang rights defender Lu Gengsong was arrested on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” on August 24, 2007, for publishing articles critical of the government. The court convicted and sentenced him to four years in prison and one year of deprivation of political rights...
[Wang Lihong] Beijing rights activist Wang Lihong (王荔蕻) was charged with “picking quarrels and proving troubles” after she organized netizens to go to the Mawei District People’s Court in Fujian to observe three netizens’ trial on April 16, 2010. Wang was tried on August 12, 2011, and her lawyers...
[Baihutou Village Case] On April 29, 2011, Xu Kun, the democratically elected chief of Baihutou Village in Beihai, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was sentenced to four years in prison by the Yinhai District People’s Court, Beihai, for “illegal business activities,” and fined 200,000 yuan . Xu...
[Luo Yongquan] Domestic security officers ordered Luo, a dissident, not to leave the city of Nanxiong, Guangdong, and forced him to return a train ticket he had already purchased for a trip to Zhuhai in order to find work.
[Mao Hengfeng] The decision states that Mao Hengfeng was sent to a prison hospital for treatment of high blood pressure while serving her Reeducation-Through-Labor order. The Committee is canceling the remaining period of her Reeducation-Through-Labor order at the suggestion of the prison hospital...
Mao Hengfeng (毛恒凤) was released one month before completing her 18-month Reeducation-Through-Labor order due to her deteriorating health. She had been in a prison hospital in Shanghai since February 24, 2011, when she was taken into custody, just two days after having been released on medical...
On July 20 and 21, 300 workers from the Guizhou Dazhong Rubber Company held a sit-in to protest their bosses’ embezzlement of government resources and exploitation of workers’ interests, and to ask the authorities to address the problems. On July 20, the authorities sent an official to the protest...
On March 5, 2011, Zhu Yufu (朱虞夫) was detained on suspicion of inciting subversion of state power; his home was also searched and his possessions confiscated. Zhu was formally arrested on April 11, 2011, and is being held at the Shengcheng District Detention Center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province...
Xu Shunmei (徐顺妹) , a petitioner from Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, had attempted to petition in Beijing to reveal the seizure of her village’s land by local government through the collusion between local government officials and businesses. She recounts in this video, which is in Chinese, her...
[Feng Zhenghu] The noted Shanghai-based rights defender had his home searched again and was summoned by the police for interrogation on suspicion of “deliberately disturbing the social order by other means.” The police took away a computer, the 11th of Feng’s computers confiscated in police...
A self-published memoir of a decade-long struggle to recover family home and possessions. [IN CHINESE]
On June 3, the Nanhai District People’s Court in Guandong held another hearing of the case brought by farmers of Sanshan Island in Nanhai against their local government for its failure to make public land agreements from 1992. At the hearing, Tian Li, a legal aid volunteer for the Chinese Citizens...
[Jasmine Rally Suppression] Since February 2011, many rights activists have been harassed, arbitrarily detained, disappeared, or placed under "residential surveillance." Some of them have been released but are not allowed to speak out. Rights defender Liu Shasha wrote about their experiences in...
Shanghai-based human rights activist Feng Zhenghu sent a letter to the National People’s Congress (NPC) and to individuals in legal circles to ask for their support for the “I Want to File a Case” action that he initiated on August 3, 2011. Feng says that this action has garnered 189 signatures. In...
Qin, an activist based in Wuhan, was detained by the Wuhan authorities on May 13, 2011, for ten days and fined 200 yuan for raising funds for Li Wangyang, a Tiananmen activist who was paralyzed after being beaten in prison. While Qin was detained, police searched his home and deleted all of the...
[Chen Guida's Death] Chen Guida, a Korean War veteran who worked for Tsinghua University for more than 34 years, spent the past few years negotiating with the University to reinstate his cadre status so that he could obtain the full retirement benefits accorded to cadres. On August 28, 2011, when...
[Fuqing Bombing Case] In this article, Xin Chen, who attended the court proceedings, recounts what happened in court as well as the case history. On June 24, 2001, a bombing occurred in front of the Fuqing Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection. Wu Zhangxiong, a driver for the commission,...
On February 24, 2011, two days after Shanghai petitioner Mao Hengfeng was released from the Anhui Provincial Women's Reeducation-Through-Labor Camp, an official from the Anhui RTL camp came to her home and rescinded the parole. Several dozen Shanghai and Anhui police officers took Mao away. Wu...
After being released from prison in November 2010, Qin Yongmin, longtime democracy and human rights activist and chairman of the China Human Rights Watch, has been continuously harassed by police. On May 5, 2011, the police went to his home again and announced that every month, Qin must write a "...
This article describes how Mao was sent back to RTL facilities within two days of being granted medical parole. Anhui Province’s RTL facility officials sent Mao to her residence in Shanghai on February 22 because she suffers from Level III high blood pressure. However, after only two days, the same...
[Beihai Baihutou Land Eviction Case] On April 29, 2011, the elected village chief, Xu Kun, was sentenced by the Yinhai District People’s Court to four years in prison and was fined 200,000 yuan (approximately US$30,800) on the charge of “illegal business activity.” Xu Kun appealed the sentence,...
Noted dissident Qin Yongmin recounts that in the five months since he has been released from prison, Wuhan Police and State Security authorities have used enforcement measures such as summons and searches against him six times. This is also the second time they've searched Qin’s home within two...

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