Skip to content Skip to navigation

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 51 - 100 of 622
More than 100 scholars inside and outside China have joined a growing domestic campaign to call for the release of workers at the Jasic factory in Shenzhen, who have been detained for demanding to form their own labor union to protect their rights. On July 27, seven of the workers, and 23...
In this account, the writers, who are workers at Jasic Technology Co., Ltd. in Shenzhen, describe the seizure of fellow workers and their relatives. On the afternoon of July 27, when seven workers who are among the workers demanding to form a labor union came to the factory to work as usual, they...
In this update, the students and recent graduates of Peking University who initiated the public statement on July 29 to support the detained Jasic workers in Shenzhen report that their statement has garnered more than 1,600 signatures in just one day—despite the statement having been deleted from...
On July 27, 30 of workers and their supporters at Jasic Technology Co., Ltd. in Shenzhen, who were demanding to form a labor union, were detained by the police. On July 29, Yue Xin ( 岳昕 ), a recent graduate of Peking University’s School of Foreign Languages, initiated a signature campaign for a...
On July 10, Qin Yongmin, 64, veteran democracy activist, a cofounder of the China Democracy Party and founder of China Human Rights Watch, is sentenced to 13 years in prison for “subversion of state power.” The court’s ruling details the government’s accusations against Qin Yongmin: writing a large...
In this account, the authors, workers at Jasic Technology Co., Ltd. In Shenzhen state that the company has treated employees badly for a long time, and that, as a result, workers demand to establish a labor union as a way to protect their rights and to protest the maltreatment. But, according to...
This account describes the experience of the writer and other rights defenders from different areas in the country who intended to going to Wuhan to apply to attend the trial of Qin Yongmin. Some activists were intercepted in their local areas, and the others who arrived at the court were...
On April 19, 2018, Wang Quanzhang’s wife, Li Wenzu, and family members of 709 lawyers Wang Qiaoling, Liu Ermin, Yuan Shanshan, accompanied lawyers Lin Qilei and Xie Yang to the Tianjin Detention Center to ask to see Wang Quanzhang, but their request was denied. The following day, Li Wenzu, Wang...
On April 13, Li Wenzu sent an application for administrative reconsideration to the People's Government of Shijingshan District in Beijing, demanding a ruling of illegality on the Shijingshan Branch of the Beijing Public Security Bureau’s violation of law by restricting her personal freedom by...
On April 4, 2018, the 999th day of her husband’s disappearance, Li Wenzu , wife of lawyer Wang Quanzhang who was arrested in the 709 Crackdown, started her march, from the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing to the Tianjin No.2 Intermediate People's Court to search for her husband. On April 9, 2018,...
In the afternoon of December 7, 2017, lawyer Sui Muqing met with well-known netizen Zhang Guanghong (web name Nianhua Shiping) at Yuexiu District Detention Center in Guangzhou. Zhang, who was arrested for the crime of “insulting,” told the lawyer that Yuexiu police accused him of reposting a...
1) Case Timelines Date Liu Yao’s Case Lai Wei’e’s Case Aug 2015 Liu Yao began publishing articles online exposing He Zhongyou (何忠友), Party Secretary of Heyuan City, Guangdong Province, for illegal appropriation of a vast tract of farmland for a golf course project. (He Zhongyou is currently the...
Lawyer Liu Yao ( 刘尧 ) , 56, who once practiced in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, represented local peasants in Dongyuan County, in the prefectural-level city of Heyuan City (河源市东源县), in a land right dispute case. Subsequently, in 2009, he was accused of a trumped-up charge of intentional damage of...
[Translation by Human Rights in China] Submitted to: The Heyuan Municipal People's Procuratorate The Heyuan Municipal Intermediate People's Court By Complainants: Defense lawyers for Liu Yao ( 刘尧 ) Li Fangping ( 李方平 ) , lawyer at Beijing Ruifeng Law Firm and defense lawyer representing Liu Yao and...
In the Case of Liu Yao, victim of entrapment and retaliation by corrupt high-ranking officials in Guangdong who colluded with businesses and abused their power
[Translation by Human Rights in China] 1 The Chinese Spring Festival in 2018 came late. February 15 was the anniversary of Mr. Edgar Snow's death, also Lunar New Year’s Eve. This happened to be a time of long holidays, when people were either busy preparing meals for family reunions at home or out...
The Chinese authorities have persecuted human rights lawyers and human rights defenders who were taken into custody in the 709 Crackdown by putting them under “residential surveillance at a designated place,” which is secret detention in disguise, refusing to let lawyers retained by their families...
On January 13, 2018, 40 June Fourth victims’ family members joined a New Year gathering in Beijing organized by the Tiananmen Mothers. The participants observed a moment of silence to pay tribute to the 50 victims’ family members who have passed away, and reiterated their three unwavering demands...
On September 14, lawyer Lin Qilei met with his client Li Xiaoling at the Zhuhai No.1 Detention Center, and was told Li had been arrested on September 12 for allegedly “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” Li is a rights defender from Zhuhai, Guangdong. Li Xiaoling developed an eye condition...
Tong Liya and former husband Han Zhongming, a Shanghai rights defender who petitioned and then sued the government over being forcibly evicted and relocated, were followed for 24 hours and watched from outside their temporary home by eight unidentified non-locals beginning September 22. Han has...
On September 6, lawyer Zhu Shengwu, representing “steamed bun” case defendant Wang Jiangfeng of Zhaoyuan, Shandong, received a notice from the Department of Justice of Shandong Province entitled, “Notice of Rights to a Hearing for the Party Involved in Administrative Punishment Cases Handled by the...
On the morning of September 5, lawyer Sui Muqing was accompanied by the mother of detained activist Huang Qi as well as two volunteers from the website 64tianwang.com on a trip from Chengdu to the Mianyang Municipal Procuratorate’s Case Management Center. There, the group demanded to be able to...
Since the 18th Party Congress in 2012, human rights have deteriorated, the rule of law has regressed, torture has increased, and the number of wrongful incarcerations has grown dramatically—Beijing rights defender Yu Wensheng states in an open letter. Yu says that since Xi Jinping came to power...
In the 900 days Lawyer Wang Quanzhang, from Tianjin, has been in custody—since he was first detained in July 2015 in the 709 Crackdown—he has yet to be allowed to meet with a lawyer; and lawyer Li Yuhan, of Shenyang, who once represented Wang Quanzhang, was arrested in November 2017 on suspicion of...
[Translation by Human Rights in China] I haven’t seen Huang Qi for three months. Originally, I had planned to see him after reviewing the case files. But after all this waiting, the permission to review the files never came. Although I haven’t been able to read the files, I still have to inform...
In the morning on November 6, 2017, lawyer Sui Muqing went to the Mianyang Municipal Detention Center to meet with Huang Qi, accompanied by Huang’s mother and three volunteers from 64tianwang.com. When they arrived, Huang Qi was being questioned in connection with the complaint he filed regarding...
Yu Wensheng, rights defense lawyer from Beijing, had his practicing license first confiscated in July 2017 for representing lawyer Wang Quanzhang, who has been in custody since July 2015 in the 709 Crackdown. Subsequently, his license, invalidated, was returned to him, which did not allow him to...
Sichuan human rights activist Huang Qi’s defense lawyer, Sui Muqing, had agreed on a time to examine the procuratorate’s case files, but the day before, the procuratorate gave notice that they had canceled the review due to a business trip. Given that the previous time they had illegally refused to...
Zhaoyuan, Shandong netizen Wang Jiangfeng, who was sentenced to two years for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” after publishing comments on the Internet calling Mao Zedong “Bandit Mao,” Xi Jinping “Steamed Bun Xi,” and so on, received a “Written Decision for Retrial” on the effective date...
On the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Wang Xiuying, a woman in her 80s from Beijing, published an open letter to Xi Jinping arguing that “continuing the Party’s absolute leadership over the army is paradoxical.” The open letter states that the army’s...
Eighteen citizens, including Ye Qinghuan, Yang Lingyun, and Zheng Wei issued a joint declaration, stating their intent to run for election as independent local and People’s Congress representatives, and calling on voters in Beijing to vote for them. They intend to truly represent the people and do...
As the National Supervision Law of the People’s Republic of China (Draft) officially entered the legislative review process, a group of mainland lawyers, law PhDs, and scholars jointly issued a letter to the National People’s Congress as well as its Standing Committee, presenting their concern that...
Lawyer Yu Wensheng filed a criminal complaint with the Beijing Municipal Procuratorate requesting that Miao Lin, the Director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice, and others involved be held legally accountable for abusing their power in using the annual renewal of law licenses to suppress...
Wen Donghai—defense lawyer of Liu Feiyue, head of Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch and activist from Hubei—found out, after attending a meeting with the procuratorate that on August 8, 2017 Liu’s case of “inciting subversion of state power” has been transferred again to the Suizhou Procuratorate,...
On July 2, 2017, Jiangxi rights activist Liu Shaoming, who resides in Guangzhou, was sentenced by the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court to four years and six months in prison and three years’ deprivation of political rights for “inciting subversion of state power.” Liu Shaoming was accused of...
It has been two years since labor rights activist Liu Shaoming was detained, and over a year since his trial. Still, the court has yet to issue a verdict. Though initially in good health, Liu has experienced abdominal pain since October 2016, and the pain has intensified this year, a worrisome sign...
Fujian rights defender Wu Gan (screenname “the Butcher”) was tried at the Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court for “inciting subversion of state power” in a closed hearing on the morning of August 14. The areas around the court were heavily guarded, more than 20 supporters were picked up in...
Tianyong, It has been over two years since the beginning of the 709 Crackdown. Sometimes I think you are unlucky, as you were arrested just when everyone thought the crackdown was coming to an end. But you are also lucky, as you were the third to the last person to go to trial, before Wang...
[Translation by Human Rights in China] 他死了,这又能改变什么 阳光明亮,阿尔卑斯山巅的残雪在远方 如闪烁的鱼鳞,他的骨灰被抛向闪烁的大海 如鱼鳞,我们对他的追忆 也鱼鳞般渐行渐远么? 这又能改变什么,他死了 He died, and what can it change In bright sunshine, the distant remnant snow at the summit of the Alps Flickers like fish scales. His ashes tossed into the flashing sea Like...
In 2005, Jiangsu dissident Yang Tiansui was sentenced to 12 years in prison. As he was completing his prison term, he was diagnosed as having a brain tumor and has been granted medical parole. The authorities have refused to let Yang leave China to seek medical treatment abroad. As his family is...
Chen Jinxue and Zhang Lei, lawyers retained by Jiang Tianyong’s family to represent Jiang, went to the detention center to request a meeting with the detained human rights attorney. The detention center claimed that Jiang had already retained two lawyers, hence the authorities said they could not...
Jiang Tianyong's defense lawyer Chen Jinxue sent a letter to the sub-bureau of the Changsha Municipal Public Security Bureau requesting for the fifth time to meet with Jiang. Previously, Chen and Jiang’s other defense lawyer, Qin Chenshou, had asked eight times to see their client. The Public...
Zhao Xianzhong died of an untreated heart attack while detained at the Henan Provincial Detention Center in Hebi City, Xun County, on April 18, 2017. Following his death, his family learned that during the 22 months that Zhao was detained, he was admitted to hospital three times for emergency...
On March 30, the second instance trial of Wang Jiangfeng, arrested on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” for referring to Mao Zedong as “Bandit Mao” and Xi Jinping as “Steamed Bun” in online posts, opened at the Zhaoyuan City Detention Center, Yantai, Shandong Province. Wang’s...
Now out of prison for close to four years, Ningxia poet Shi Tao is a member of the Shanghai Writers’ Association’s third creative writing class for young people. He received an invitation to attend a poetry association meeting held in Ningbo, and began preparation for the event. However, three...
Lawyer Yu Wensheng filed a criminal complaint with the Beijing Municipal Procuratorate requesting that Miao Lin, the Director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice, and others involved be held legally accountable for abusing their power in using the annual renewal of law licenses to suppress...
In a letter to Human Rights in China, Zhang Bo, a mainland Chinese living in the United States, outlines the abduction, blackmail, and injury his brother Zhang Jian and his wife suffered for attempting to recover money from construction work they were owed. In the account, Zhang Bo alleges that...
On the afternoon of June 7, Lin Qilei met with Guangdong rights activist Li Xiaoling at the Beijing Xicheng District Detention Center. In the meeting, Li said that previously, because of delay caused by the Zhuhai police, the treatment she had received in Guangzhou for her acute glaucoma was not...
Reports continue to expose the serious human rights violations committed against lawyers and activists arrested in the 709 Crackdown. In addition to attorneys Xie Yang, Li Heping, Li Chunfu, as well as activist Wu Gan, many rights defenders caught up in the crackdown are reported to have been...
After Huang Qi, director of 64 Tianwang website, was arrested for “illegally providing state secrets abroad” his 84-year-old mother Pu Wenqing once again urges the Chinese government in this open letter to release her son for medical treatment on humanitarian grounds. Huang Qi—who has been...

Pages