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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 620
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An open letter to: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, UN Member States. We, the undersigned organizations, join together to call for an international mechanism to address the Chinese government’s human rights violations, and urge you to...
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In this update, Xu Yan, wife of detained human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng, provides the latest developments in her husband’s case. On the morning of September 3, Yu’s two defense lawyers plan to meet with Yu at the Xuzhou Municipal Detention Center to discuss his upcoming trial of second instance...
In this timely essay, Chen Jiangang, one of China’s well-known rights defense lawyers, tells the story of the campaign waged by the Chinese authorities over the past decade intended to crush the rights defense legal profession.
On June 10, Zhang Hai of Wuhan submitted a complaint to the Wuhan Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in the first case filed by a Wuhan citizen against government authorities for concealing information about the new coronavirus. This concealment, he argues, led to his father’s death. Zhang…
Distributing democracy leaflets in Beijing landed Feng Xiaoyan in the No. 4 People’s Hospital in Linyi, Shandong, where she has been kept as a psychiatric patient and force-fed medications.
In his article, lawyer Chen Jiangang discusses what he terms as the “Four Breakthroughs” that President Xi Jinping has “achieved” during his administration: 1. Breaking with the principle of abiding by international treaty obligation, (referring to the the 1984 Joint Declaration that the Chinese...
On January 19, 2018, lawyer Yu Wensheng published a "Citizen’s Proposal to Amend the Constitution," with recommendations for deleting the "Preamble” to the Constitution and for other political reforms. He was criminally detained the following day, on suspicion of "obstructing official business" and...
Wang Quanzhang ( 王全璋) , a lawyer in custody since the “709” crackdown in 2015, was supposedly released from prison on April 5, 2020. But instead of being allowed to go home to Beijing, Wang was sent to Jinan ostensibly for a 14-day quarantine. But by April 23, he had still not been allowed to...
April 30, 2020 is the 10th anniversary of the revocation of Tang Jitian and Liu Wei's lawyer's licenses. In 2008, Tang Jitian and Liu Wei were among 35 lawyers who called for the direct elections of officers of the state-controlled Beijing Lawyers Association. In 2010, Tang and Liu’s lawyer...
On April 2, 2020, the Zhengzhou Lawyers Association issued a disciplinary “warning” to lawyer Liu Yingying( 刘莹莹 ) for posting on her blog an article titled, “Today, family members lined up in a long queue to pick up their relatives’ ashes at the Hankou Funeral Home.“ The warning states that Liu is...

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