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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 11 - 20 of 621
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...
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, thirteen Chinese citizens from Beijing, Fujian, Hunan, Shandong, and other provinces, including Li Yingzhi ( 李英之 ) , Zha Jianguo ( 查建国 ) and Lin Yubin ( 林于斌 ) urge the government to take the following actions: Conduct a public memorial service on Qing...
In her statement, Shi Minglei, the wife of Cheng Yuan, the public interest advocate facing charges of “subversion of state power,” cites serious factual inaccuracies in the article, "The Cheng Yuan I know" (谈谈我认识的程渊). She states that the article maliciously links, without evidence, the arrest of...
In this article, Lu Dachun, a long-time petitioner who previously served a two year-sentence for petitioning-related activities, points out that although the central government has emphasized the need to solve the outstanding problems of "two no worries [about food and clothing] and three...
Christian Jiang Zhanchun ( 蒋湛春) has been criminally detained in Zhenjiang City Detention Center on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble and disrupting the working order of state organs." Xu Yonghai ( 徐永海) , an elder of the Beijing Christian house church, Divine Love Group, appeals...
The Peking University professor and advocate of judicial reform in China says in this handwritten short essay, “Without press freedom, not only would the people’s livelihood be difficult, there would be no trust in government, let alone the possibility of a capable modern governance system.” 贺卫方:...
The group’s appeals include the following: the protection of fundamental human rights in the course of epidemic prevention and control; the establishment by the National People’s Congress of a special investigative commission that includes independent professional and organizations to conduct a...
The lead advocate of the New Citizens Movement lambasts Xi Jinping for his incompetence and mismanagement of the coronavirus epidemic, asking the Chinese president to resign for the sake of the country. Xu was detained in southern China on February 17, 2020. He is reported to be facing “inciting...
Xu Yan ( 许艳 ) , the wife of Beijing lawyer Yu Wensheng ( 余文生 ) , sends a letter to the Mayor of Beijing, seven Deputy Mayors, and the Chief Secretary of the municipal government, appealing to them, on whom the people depend for their livelihood, to immediately launch a mechanism for protecting and...
This notice from the Zhangwan District of Shiyan City in Hubei Province, approximately 300 miles from Wuhan, with a population of 410,000 in the district, was posted on the website of Shiyan City at a little after 9:00 p.m. on February 12, 2020, announcing “Wartime Management and Control” beginning...

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