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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 1 - 10 of 530
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Today we went to the entrance of the Supreme People’s Court. The bailiff was blocking the way of an elderly woman petitioner. But when he saw us, he let us through, and called on his mobile to inform the authorities inside: “They have arrived and are going in.” Wenzu and I exchanged a knowing smile...
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Sun Wenguang, retired professor of Shandong University School of Management, after attending a June Fourth anniversary gathering on May 24, was picked up on June 1 by individuals believed to be public security personnel. Sun was taken to a guest house and his cell phone was confiscated. He was sent...
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Jiang Tianyong’s wife is shocked to hear her husbad’s statement dismissing his two defense lawyers, and does not believe that this is Jiang’s true wish. She presumes that Jiang Tianyong’s statement—signed on the day when his six-months of residential surveillance expired—was the product of torture...
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On May 8, Xie Yang, a human rights lawyer detained during the 709 Crackdown and charged with “inciting subversion of state power” and “disrupting court order,” was tried in a so-called open first instance trial at Changsha Intermediate People's Court. In court, Xie admitted to his alleged crimes,...
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“709”案被捕律师谢阳、李和平、李春富及维权人士吴淦等人在被羁押期间遭受殴打、被强迫服用不明药物、剥夺睡眠、被滥用戒具等严重侵犯基本人权的情形相继曝光,就此,80多位中国律师和维权人士致信全国人大常委会,要求依照宪法的规定立即成立特别问题调查委员会,就“709”系列案件存在的酷刑问题以及其他违法犯罪问题进行独立调查,并向全国人民公开调查结论,及依法追究相关违法或犯罪人员的法律责任。该信开放签名,联署邮箱: 871210035@qq.com 。 关于要求成立特别调查委员会查明“ 709”系列案件办理过程中有关酷刑问题的建议 全国人民代表大会常务委员会: 自2015年7月9日以来,...
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After the international community strongly condemned the alleged torture of attorney Xie Yang who was detained in the 709 Crackdown, the Chinese official media CCTV attempted a rebuttal. On March 2, 2017, CCTV reported that a thorough investigation had been conducted, which, drawing on various...
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Activist Feng Zhenghu from Shanghai was denied departure from Pudong International Airport on October 5, 2015. The border police stated that his departure could potentially “harm national security,” allegedly in connection with the 709 Crackdown. In February of this year, when Feng was granted a...
Activist Chen Qitang (also known as Tian Li), from Foshan, Guangdong Province, was convicted of “subversion of state power” on March 31, 2017 and sentenced to four-and-a-half years’ imprisonment. On the final date of the appeal period (April 10, 2017), his lawyer, Li Fangping, met him at the Nanhai...
On March 31, 2017, renowned Sichuan dissident and activist Chen Yunfei was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment by Chengdu Wuhou District Court on the charge of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” As he listened to the judgment, Chen gestured the “peace” sign with both hands, and said he...
On February 21, 2017, the mother of detained rights activist Huang Qi, retained two lawyers, Sui Muqing and Li Jinglin, to go to the state security unit of the Mianyang Municipal Public Security Bureau to request that the person handling Huang’s case provide information on his case, in accordance...

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