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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 201 - 250 of 622
我的法庭陈述 各位、法官、检察官、律师及亲友们:大家好! 广州市检察院、穗检公——刑诉(2016)5号起诉书检控我以“造谣、诽谤”等方式煽动颠覆国家政权、推翻社会主义制度,其行为触犯了《中华人民共和国刑法》第一百零五条第二款,以煽动颠覆国家政权罪追究我刑事责任,我现在作出自辩。 是公民的良知和责任,使今天我又一次站在法庭的被告席上。廿七年前的北京春夏之交,我参与和见证了那场史无前例的反腐败、争民主、争自由、史称“六四事件”的学生运动,目睹了手无寸铁年轻的学生惨死的一幕。廿七年过去了,惨景挥之不去,至今仍痛彻我心扉,总有一种不可抑制的冲动和责任,促使我为冤死的学生英魂去奔走呐喊。为此,我写下了...
On April 8, 2016, the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court, in separate verdicts, convicted activists Xiewen Fei and Wang Mo of "inciting subversion of state power" and sentenced them each to four and a half years’ imprisonment, with three years’ deprivation of political rights. In court, both...
Yu Shaolei, former Southern Metropolis Daily editor, explains in a weibo post the reason for his resignation: he can’t take the Party’s surname, and his knees can’t take it anymore. Yu Shaolei’s weibo post: [Translation by Human Rights in China] This spring, let’s just break it off, clean. I’m old...
In 2009, democracy activist Xie Changfa (谢长发) was convicted of “subversion of state power” and sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment and five years of deprivation of political rights, in connection with his activities in the China Democracy Party (CDP). Xie told his brother Xie Changzhen who visited...
Sichuan rights defender Chen Yunfei was detained on March 23, 2015, for paying respects at the graves of Xiao Jie and Wu Guofeng, two June Fourth victims. He was officially arrested on April 30 that year on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble...
On February 19, 2016, the Urumqi Intermediate People’s Court convicted Xinjiang rights defender Zhang Haitao of “inciting subversion of state power” and “spying for foreign entities and unlawful providing intelligence” and sentenced him to 19 years in prison and five years of deprivation of...
Activist Jiang Lijun (姜立军 or 姜力钧 ) from Tieling City, Liaoning Province, was sentenced to three years for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” by the Dadong District Court of Shenyang Municipal People's Court on January 15, 2016. Jiang was accused of writing and posting online articles that “...
On January 29, 2016, lawyer Tang Jingling , an advocate of non-violent civil disobedience, was convicted of "inciting subversion of state power" and sentenced to five years in prison. Tang was first detained in May 2014 on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” during the pre-June...
In a hearing on January 29, 2016, the Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate People's Court convicted activists Tang Jingling, Yuan Chaoyang, and Wang Qingying of "inciting subversion of state power" and sentenced them to five years, three and a half years, and two and a half years, respectively. Tang...
Dear Presidential election candidates: Greetings! After fierce election campaigns, now you are waiting quietly for the final judgment by the voters. Long before this moment, I started to watch this political race closely on this side of the Taiwan Strait, from the Guangzhou Number One Detention...
On January 4, four lawyers and families of Li Heping, Wang Yu, Bao Longjun, and Xie Yuandong—suspected of “inciting subversion of state power” in the “709 case”—went together to Hexi District Procuratorate in Tianjin to submit a “Legal Supervision Application,” and to Hexi Public Security Bureau in...
In this short video, Xu Lin, a writer, poet, songwriter, and structural engineer, describes being taken in for questioning on December 17. He says that the Guangzhou police intercepted him when he was taking his kid to school that morning, and accused him of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble...
Still detained as of December 15, 2015 1. Chen Qilin 2. Qu Hongxia (aka Hutu (Silly) or Maliya (Maria)) (from Shanxi, residing in Beijing) 3. Bao Naigang 4. Wang Su’e (Liaoning) 5. Zhang Zhan (Shijiazhuang, Hebei) 6. Hou Minling (Wenchuan, Sichuan) 7. Sheng Lanfu 8. Chen Wenchang 9. Song Wei (...
  • Supporters of Pu Zhiqiang protesting outside court during his trial on Monday, December 14, 2015. Placards: "Pu Zhiqiang not guilty.”
Supporters of Pu Zhiqiang protesting outside court during his trial on Monday, December 14, 2015. Placards: "Pu Zhiqiang not guilty.” Supporters of Pu Zhiqiang being pushed away from court by unidentified men during Pu’s trial on Monday, December 14, 2015. Supporters of Pu Zhiqiang being pushed...
If it was said that previously I did my utmost to avoid the circle of human rights lawyers, it would be because of lawyer Li Heping. I really couldn’t stand the police watching the front door of my own home every day; I couldn’t stand my husband being thrown into various police substations when he...
I met the beautiful and poised Wang Yu and the simple and honest Bao Longjun in June 2013. I hired lawyers Wang and Bao after receiving a call from Suzhou Huqiu People’s Court concerning the suit against Suzhou Jianxin Construction Group’s project manager, Ding Jianxin, who had destroyed Ge Jueping...
Rights defense activist Guo Feixiong was sentenced on November 27, 2015 to six years’ imprisonment for “gathering crowds to disrupt order in public places” and “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” Among the arguments that Guo makes in his appeal is that the trial court, the Tianhe District...
In his complaint to the Daxing District People’s Court, Beijing, Lawyer Yu Wensheng recounts his torture by two police officers during his 99-day detention. One of his torturers said to him: “I won’t let you die, but I will make you feel you’d rather be dead.” Yu was taken into custody on October...
Democracy activist Dong Guangping, from Zhengzhou, Henan province, could not bear the threats and harassment by Chinese police against him and his family, so he took his wife and daughter into exile in Thailand and obtained United Nations refugee protection status. However, on October 28, he was...
Lawyer Zheng Xiang met with detained Jilin petitioner Guo Hongwei and learned that the supervising officers unlawfully used restraints such as leg irons and handcuffs, and instigated and condoned other detainees to maltreat him. The lawyer stated that he will file a complaint to investigate such...
Dr. Liu Sixin and Madam Zhao Wei were two of the individuals detained in the massive “709 crackdown” on lawyers and defenders that began in China on July 9 of this year. On September 17, Wang Lei and Ren Quanniu, the defense lawyers for Liu and Zhao, went to the pre-trial division of Hexi branch of...
On October 27, lawyer Zheng Xiang once again went to Tianjin’s Hexi Detention Center and finally learned that Hu Shigen’s case is being handled by the Hexi branch of the Tianjin Public Security Bureau. Hu was criminally detained on July 11, and was put under “residential surveillance in a...
On July 10, 2015, Beijing dissident and Christian Hu Shigen, along with Liu Yongping and Ge Ping, disappeared as they prepared to participate in a church gathering. Nearly 100 days after the family retained a lawyer to report the case to the security authorities, the only answer given by the police...
Wang Mo stood trial on November 19, 2015, for supporting the 2014 Umbrella Movement. He was accused of "inciting subversion of state power."
Lawyers who have been prevented from leaving China issued a statement to the Beijing Public Security Bureau asking for “prompt correction” of the decision to stop them from overseas travel. Signatories: Cai Ying (蔡瑛) Chen Jiangang (陈建刚) Ge Wenxiu (葛文秀) Ge Yongxi (葛永喜) Huang Simin (黄思敏) Li Guobei (...
Lin Qilei was told by police at the Beijing Airport that the Beijing Public Security Bureau believes Lin "exiting Chinese territory would endanger state security."
In the Four Months Since My Uncle Went Missing Winter has arrived, it’s much colder now. November 10: it will have been four months since my uncle was forcibly disappeared. During this time, his lawyer went to Tianjin three times to apply to meet him but the public security departments twice made...
He Fengzhu from Wuxi, six months pregnant, set off firecrackers at Tiananmen Square. She was later taken away by authorities from the Binhu District branch of the Wuxi Municipal Public Security Bureau, and finally released on bail. In the account below, which consists of information she provided...
China, what have we done actually? I don’t know lawyer Wang Yu’s son Bao Zhuoxuan personally, but my son has met him once. They went swimming together. When I heard from a lawyer friend on October 8 that Zhouxuan was taken away by police in Myanmar, I couldn't believe it. I tried to comfort this...
In this narrative, Ding, a resident of Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, recounts the forced demolition and relocation of her family in 2009, and the unlawful detention and torment that her entire family suffered as a result of defending its rights over the past six and half years.
In this statement, author Jia Pin appeals for public awareness of the plight of activists Yuan Xiaohua, Huang Wenxun, Yuan Fengchu, and Chen Jianxiong. The four have been illegally detained for two years and four months, and abused in detention.
[Translation by Human Rights in China] [Disseminated via WeChat] On September 1, 2015, lawyer Ge Yongxi went to Guangzhou No. 1 Detention Center to meet with Tang Jingling, and read the Bible for him. Tang had long wanted a Bible to read, but has been denied by the detention authorities to have one...
Petitioners going to Beijing to rent houses are strictly controlled—indicating that victims are treated no better than criminals. In the name of "stability maintenance,” Beijing police have, over the years, strictly controlled petitioners coming into the city, prohibiting hotels and residences from...
Human rights lawyer Li Heping has been missing since July 10, 2015, when he was forcibly taken from his home by unidentified persons. His wife, Wang Qiaoling, filed this administrative complaint, her second, with the Beijing Dongcheng District People’s Court, stating that public security organs...
This case update—originally circulated on WeChat—explains that Chen Yongfu, lawyer to Bao Longjun, who has been accused of inciting subversion of state power, received a call on August 31 from someone claiming to be from the Tianjin Public Security Bureau. The individual on the phone sought...
In January of this year, Qin Yongmin and his wife Zhao Suli lost contact with the outside world. In a summons to human rights activist Shi Yulin to report for questioning on August 28, 2015, the Wuhan City Public Security Bureau states that Qin Yongmin has been detained by authorities on suspicion...
People come from across the country to petition at the Bureau for Letters and Calls. They often must brave the biting cold or scorching sun, and line up in an alley for hours or even days at a time, only to be blocked or rudely and unreasonably refused when they reach the registration window. Now,...
A stranger called me yesterday and asked how my Mid-Autumn Festival was. She repeatedly said that she once received help from lawyer Li Heping, and asked what she could do for us. At last she said, although Li Heping wasn't home, she still wanted to wish us a happy Mid-Autumn Festival. I was very...
Wang Fang recounts her detention following a July 25 gathering during which she and other rights defenders showed support for the arrested activist Tufu by wearing T-shirts with images of him.
Bao Longjun, husband of human rights lawyer Wang Yu, was taken away by Tianjin police from the airport on July 9, where he was sending off his son to study abroad in Australia. And he has not been heard from since. This is a description of lawyers Chen Yongfu and Huang Hanzhong’s attempt to meet...
[Translation by Human Rights in China] See Chinese original . Shocked by news that Xinqiao law firm lawyer Zhang Kai and assistant Liu Peng were taken away in the wee hours of the morning on August 25, 2015 in Wenzhou City, I, as the head of Zhang Kai’s law firm, issue the following statement:...
Forty-four days after Bao Longjun dropped out of contact while at the Beijing airport, his lawyers, after several inquiries, finally obtained the following information at the pre-trial division at the Hexi District Public Security Bureau in Tianjin: Bao has been put under residential surveillance “...
In these notes, lawyer Li Zhongwei recounts his efforts to meet with his client Lawyer Wang Quanzhang, who was disappeared on July 10. On August 10, Li went with Wang’s wife to the Hexi District Detention Center for the third time to look for him. After repeated requests, they were finally told...
“Alone a stranger in a strange land, I miss my family especially ever more at times of festivity.” In Chinese tradition, the Mid-Autumn Festival is second only to Spring Festival as the most important time for joyous gatherings of the whole family. Every Chinese is bound to feel the blessings of...
Liu Yuangdong was among the first activists of the Southern Street Movement to be detained. He was tried in January 2014 in the Tianhe District People's Court, Guangzhou, Guandong, and the court has not yet issued a ruling and he remains in detention. Liu Yuandong said to his lawyer, Liu Zhengqing...
[Translation by Human Rights in China] On August 11, 2015, Yu Wensheng filed a letter of complaint with the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, Shijingshan District’s government, Supervisory Bureau, and the Procuratorate, demanding an investigation into the actions and responsibility of the...
Last night, I received a text message from my son: “Mom, when do I come back?” I had promised to pick him up, but because of what happened to lawyer Chunfu [Li Heping’s younger brother], I was delayed again. I couldn’t stop my tears from falling. At that moment, I didn’t know how to reply to this...
[Translation by Human Rights in China] See Chinese original . To: Supreme People’s Procuratorate Complainant: Yu Wensheng July 31, 2015 Complainant: Yu Wensheng, Male, Born November 11, 1967, Lawyer, From Beijing, Phone: 13910033651, Address: Room 712, No. 2 CRD Yinzuo, Shijingshan District,...
On July 10, 2015, rights defense lawyer Li Heping was forcibly taken from his home by a number of unidentified individuals who did not provide any official documents or a notice of detention. Wang Qiaoling, his wife, has been inquiring with many public security bureaus regarding his whereabouts but...
In the course of my search for my husband and Chunfu [Li Heping’s younger brother] being taken away, I’ve come to a spot I’ve never imagined before. After calls from the Beijing Public Security Bureau for two consecutive days asking me to have a talk about my writings online, and I refused to...

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