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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 520
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On the morning of April 6, after the verdict was announced on March 31 in her trial, Su Changlan was finally permitted to meet with her lawyer for the first time. Su told her lawyer that although she had predicted the verdict, after it was announced she felt angry and upset. Moreover, she believes...
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Beijing human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong has been detained since November 21, 2016, and has been denied meetings with lawyers and family. It was reported that he accepted an interview with the Global Times . Jiang’s defense lawyers Chen Jinxue and Tan Chenshou released a statement pointing out...
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A few days ago, Beijing activist Ni Yulan spent RMB 40,000 to rent an apartment, only then to be harassed by the real estate broker and the landlord, who asked her to move, claiming that the apartment is public housing and not authorized for rental (but when she was renting the apartment, the...
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In response to the report published by the Party mouthpiece The Global Times, on March 1, entitled “Investigation Reveals Fake ‘Torture Stories’ About Lawyer Xie Yang,” Xie Yang’s lawyer Chen Jiangang published, on the following day, “My Meetings with Xie Yang, Before and After.” Chen’s article...
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Liu Zhengqing, defense lawyer for human rights lawyer Xie Yang who was arrested in the “709” Crackdown, went to Changsha No. 2 Detention Centre to apply to meet with Xie. He was told that he “would receive a reply within 48 hours.” After the 48 hours had passed, not only was there no meeting...
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Prosecutor Yang Zhongping from the Hunan Provincial People’s Procuratorate stated, in a China Central Television (CCTV) report entitled “Investigation into the Truth of Xie Yang’s ‘Torture,’” that western media reports of the alleged torture of lawyer Xie were not based in facts. CCTV also...
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Human rights activists Su Changlan and Chen Qitang (also known as Tian Li), both from Foshan, Guangdong Province, were tried for and convicted of “subversion of state power” on March 31, 2017 in Foshan Intermediate Court. In separate announcements, the court sentenced Su to three-years’...
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In advance of the China-U.S. Summit, the wives of Li Heping, Wang Quanzhang, and Jiang Tianyong—lawyers arrested during the “709 Crackdown”—jointly sent their fourth open letter to U.S. President Donald Trump. In their letter, they cite police misconduct in the recent case in which a man committed...
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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...
Ding Zilin, mother of Jiang Jielian, who was shot and killed, at age 17, on the night of June 3, 1989, is a founder of the Tiananmen Mothers group. Mrs. Lois Snow is the widow of the late Edgar Snow, American journalist and author of Red Star Over China (1937), widely regarded as one of the most...

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