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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 617
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...
On the afternoon of December 30, 2019, Dr. Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at the Wuhan Central Hospital, posted two messages in a Wechat group of his medical school classmates: “Seven cases of SARS were diagnosed connection with Huanan Fruit and Seafood Market” and “The latest news is that the...
The " Beijing News " reported on January 16, 2020 that a court in Henan upheld a lower court’s “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” conviction of three Henan farmers in connection with their petitioning activities. Lu Dachun, a veteran petitioner and rights activist, questions why the farmers...
Li Qiaochu ( 李翘楚 ), the girlfriend of New Citizens Movement advocate Xu Zhiyong ( 许志永) , posted an article on Twitter describing the police search of Xu’s home and her home in Beijing on New Year's Eve. When officers came to search Xu’s home, Li was there but Xu was not. Afterwards, they took Li to...
Shi Minglei (施明磊), the wife of Cheng Yuan (程渊), who has been in custody for his public interest advocacy, tweeted today that as a result of her continuous fight, the Changsha Municipal Bureau of State Security finally lifted her residential surveillance that had lasted nearly six months, and...

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