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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 301 - 350 of 624
On August 22, 2014, lawyer Cheng Hai received a notice from the Changping District Bureau of Justice in Beijing informing him that the Bureau planned to administratively suspend his license to practice for one year. The reason given for the suspension was that Cheng had “disrupted court order...
In a statement issued the day before Guo Feixiong ’s trial, Guo’s lawyers, Chen Guangwu and Zhang Xuezhong, citing serious procedural violations by the court, request postponement of the trial and that the court allow them to make photo copies of all the case materials so that they can review them...
In a statement one day before his trial, rights defense activist Guo Feixiong (aka Yang Maodong) alleges serious procedural violations by the prosecution, in particular, in its denial of his defense lawyers’ right to review case materials on eight CDs that include videos and photos. Such violations...
In this statement, Geng He, wife of lawyer Gao Zhisheng, provides some details of what Gao suffered during his 8-year ordeal. On December 22, 2006, Gao was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, suspended for five years, on conviction of “inciting subversion of state power.” During the five years...
In 2014, lawyer Cheng Hai defended New Citizens Movement activist Ding Jiaxi, who was prosecuted for calling for the disclosure of officials’ assets and education equality. During Ding’s trial, Cheng Hai withdrew from court to protest what he alleged as serious procedural violations. He...
On August 22, 2014, lawyer Cheng Hai received a notice from the Changping District Bureau of Justice in Beijing informing him that the bureau planned to administratively suspend his license to practice for one year. The reason given for the suspension was that Cheng had “disrupted court order...
On August 22, 2014, lawyer Cheng Hai received a notice from the Changping District Bureau of Justice in Beijing informing him that the bureau planned to administratively suspend his license to practice for one year. The reason given for the suspension was that Cheng had “disrupted court order...
We—more than three dozen rights defenders—protested in front of Zhengzhou No. 3 Detention Center, to support the “Ten Gentlemen of Zhengzhou.” They were all detained and arrested on trumped up charges, such as “illegal business activity” and “picking quarrels and provoking troubles,” and many are...
On August 5, 2014 the Xinyu Intermediate People’s Court in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province, ruled against the appeals of Liu Ping ( 刘萍) , Wei Zhongping ( 魏忠平) , and Li Sihua ( 李思华) and upheld the first-instance verdicts. The three asset transparency advocates were convicted on June 18, 2014, for their...
In this urgent appeal, lawyer Liu Jinbin ( 刘金滨 ) calls on the All China Lawyers' Association, prosecutorial organs, and other stakeholders to end the police's unlawful coercive summons of lawyer Chang Weiping in Jiaozuo, Henan. The couple, Xu Youchen ( 许有臣 ) and Zhang Xiaoyu ( 张小玉 ) , who are...
In the morning of July 21, 2014, after lawyer Chang Weiping ( 常玮平 ) was denied a meeting at the Jiaozuo Detention Center with his clients Xu Youchen ( 许有臣 ) and Zhang Xiaoyu ( 张小玉 ) , who were being held on suspicion of intentional homicide, he went to the Zhongzhan police substantion—which is...
On July 7, 2014, Lü Gengsong, member of the China Democracy Party’s Zhejiang Committee, was criminally detained on suspicion of “subversion of state power.” Ding Xikui, a lawyer with the Mo Shaoping Law Firm in Beijing, was retained by Lü’s family as defense counsel. On July 17, Ding traveled to...
The Henan case of Zhang Xiaoyu ( 张小玉) and Xu Youchen ( 许有臣) , suspected of intentional homicide, is under investigation. Their defense lawyer Chang Weiping ( 常玮平) applied to the Zhongzhan District Public Security Bureau of Jiaozuo, Henan, for a meeting with his clients but was denied. Moreover,...
In this appeal argument submitted to the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court for the second-instance trial of human rights lawyer Ding Jiaxi ( 丁家喜) , lawyer Tang Tianhao ( 唐天昊) highlighted numerous procedural irregularities, rebutted the conclusions of the original guilty verdict,...
Ding Jiaxi's ( 丁家喜) second-instance trial lawyer Cheng Hai (程海) argues in this statement that under the Constitution, Ding has the right to demand officials to disclose their assets and call for educational equality. The statement was also submitted as a complaint against 125 judges, prosecutors,...
On July 4, 2014, Shanghai petitioner Li Yufang ( 李玉芳) was found guilty of “obstructing official business.” Li was tried at the Yangpu District People's Court in Shanghai on July 4, 2014, and received a sentence of one year. Li had petitioned for more than a decade for compensation for the forced...
Zhang Zanning ( 张赞宁) , who represents lawyer Ji Laisong ( 姬来松) , has filed a complaint before the Zhengzhou Municipal People's Procuratorate against the Zhengzhou Public Security Bureau's Erligang Sub-branch for allegedly fabricating facts and criminal charges against Ji, and illegally criminally...
Huang Fangmei ( 黄芳梅 ) , pen name Huang Jingyi ( 黄静怡 ) , was formally arrested on June 25, 2014 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” (煽动颠覆国家政权) and is currently being held at Wuhan No. 1 Detention Center. Huang was criminally detained on May 17, 2014 after attending a sermon held at...
In this statement, lawyers Pang Kun (庞琨) and Wen Yu (闻宇), who represent detained lawyer Chang Boyang (常伯阳), describe how the Zhengzhou authorities have continuously obstructed them from meeting with their client, on the basis that Chang's alleged actions are "national security crimes" and that...
In this indictment against Li Huaping (李化平), the Hefei Municipality Shushan District People’s Procuratorate urges the criminal prosecution of Li for "gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place." The Procuratorate cites Li’s participation in activities to protest against the denial of...
In this essay, Wang highlights her husband Tang Jingling's leading role in initiating and advocating for non-violent civil disobedience as a means to press for greater respect for basic freedoms and for democratic reforms. Wang also provides details on Tang's long track record of rights defense...
On June 27, the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court ruled against the appeal of Zhang Baocheng and upheld the first-instance verdict. Zhang was convicted of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” (聚众扰乱公共场所秩序) by the Beijing Municipal Haidian District Court on April 18, 2014,...
Wang Qingying (王清营) was formally arrested on June 20, 2014 on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” (煽动颠覆国家政权罪) and is currently being held at Guangzhou No. 1 Detention Center (广州市第一看守所). He was first criminally detained on May 16, 2014 on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking...
Tang Jingling (唐荆陵) was formally arrested on June 20, 2014, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” (煽动颠覆国家政权罪) and is currently being held at Guangzhou No. 1 Detention Center (广州市第一看守所). He was first criminally detained on May 16, 2014 on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking...
On June 19, 2014, the Yushui District People’s Court in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province, sentenced three asset transparency advocates to prison terms ranging from six and a half years to three years. Liu Ping (刘萍) and Wei Zhongping (魏忠平) were sentenced to six and a half years in prison for “picking...
On June 19, 2014, the Yushui District People’s Court in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province, sentenced three asset transparency advocates to prison terms ranging from six and a half years to three years. Liu Ping (刘萍) and Wei Zhongping (魏忠平) were sentenced to six and a half years in prison for “picking...
The Yushui District People’s Court in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province convicted three asset transparency advocates and New Citizens Movement participants on June 19, 2014. Liu Ping ( 刘萍 ) and Wei Zhongping ( 魏忠平 ) were sentenced to six and a half years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles...
According to recent news, the All-China Lawyers Association (ACLA) has drafted two sets of provisional disciplinary regulations that, if adopted, would place broad restrictions on lawyers' freedom of expression and introduce punishment for violators. In response, 85 lawyers and legal professionals...
One June 9, lawyer Zhang Sizhi’s request to visit Gao Yu at the Beijing No.1 Detention Center was denied, but the detention center granted him a meeting, unsolicited, with another client, Pu Zhiqiang. Zhang’s notes from the meeting, circulated online, state that Pu Zhiqiang is interrogated nearly...
In this joint proposal, 121 lawyers and legal professionals ask the State Council to amend article 374 of the Procedural Regulations for the Handling of Criminal Cases by Public Security Organs to ensure the right of lawyers to meet with detained clients is not arbitrarily deprived on the grounds...
  • Liu Ping
In this defense opinion submitted to the Yushui district court, in Xinyu city, lawyer Si Weijiang raises both procedural and substantive problems in the trial of and charges against his client, transparency advocate Liu Ping. Si argues that Liu's actions online and offline calling for asset...
Lawyers have responded to Zhengzhou authorities’ refusal to allow them to meet their clients— detained prior to June Fourth—by staging repeated protests. On June 7, approximately 20 lawyers staged an overnight protest outside the Zhengzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau. On June 11, rights...
To protest the recent spate of attacks on Chinese lawyers—in the forms of beating, detention, refusal to let them meet with clients, and disqualifying them from practice—a group of Chinese lawyers, including Liu Weiguo and Zhang Keke, initiated a 24-hour fast relay and called for the participation...
In this statement , the Hong Kong Bar Association (HKBA) responds to three aspects of the White Paper, “The Practice of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ Policy in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR),” issued by the Information Office of the State Council on June 10. All three aspects...
Wang Aizhong (王爱忠) was criminally detained on May 29, 2014 on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles,” following a police search on his home the same afternoon. Wang, a Guangdong human rights defender and successful businessman, is a prominent member of the Southern Street Movement.
Zan Aizong (昝爱宗) was detained and questioned for half a day on May 20, 2014, on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” During a search of his apartment, the Hangzhou police confiscated a computer, a USB drive, and other items. Zan is an outspoken writer and journalist who currently...
Wang Qingying (王清营) was criminally detained on May 16, 2014 by police from the Baiyun District in Guangzhou on suspicion of "picking quarrels and provoking troubles." Prior to his detention, plainclothes men searched Wang's home without showing ID cards or search warrants. They took away mobile...
Lawyer Tang Jingling ( 唐荆陵) was criminally detained on May 16, 2014 on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” at Baiyun District Detention Center in Guangzhou, after police confiscated two computers and three mobile phones from his home. Tang founded the “Non-violent Citizens’...
Since the end of April, members of the Independent Chinese PEN Center—honorary council member Mrs. Gao Yu, council member Mrs. Liu Di, member Hu Shigen, and others—successively “lost contact” with the outside world. The homes of human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, Beijing Film Academy professor Hao...
In the weeks leading up to the 25th anniversary of the 1989 June Fourth Democracy Movement, many Chinese activists have been detained. A group of 25 Chinese lawyers have issued this statement calling on authorities to abide by Chinese law in the treatment of the recently detained citizens. For more...
This ad was published by 70 Hong Kong financial professionals to warn Beijing against political interference. The English version was posted on the Facebook page of “Financial Professionals for Occupy Central”: http://on.fb.me/1ptyeLu Ten Requests to the Communist Party of China from the People in...
Pu Zhiqiang ( 浦志強) was detained on May 6, 2014 on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” (寻衅滋事) by the Haidian branch of the Beijing Public Security Bureau. He was taken from his home at 4 a.m. on May 5. Later that day, the Public Security officials confiscated files, books, and...
[Translation by volunteers] We, Jiang Tianyong, Tang Jitian, Wang Cheng and Zhang Junjie, make the following statement in regards to the unlawful detention of lawyers and other citizens by the Jiansanjiang Agribusiness Reclamation Public Security Bureau in Heilongjiang Province: 1. The Legal...
In this statement , also written for public dissemination, Ding Jiaxi's lawyer Sui Muqing (隋牧青) likens China to a system of slavery: “When people's words and deeds are constantly shackled and constrained by all kinds of unspoken rules and fears, when their words and deeds are faulted at every turn...
A joint appeal issued by lawyers and citizens to the Standing Committees of the National People’s Congress and of the Heilongjiang Provincial People's Congress, which challenges the legality of the existence of the General Bureau of Farm Reclamation of Heilongjiang. In the appeal, the lawyers and...
This is the draft defense statement by one of Zhang Baocheng’s former lawyers, prepared for the original trial on January 27, 2014. In that trial, in protest of procedural problems, Zhang dismissed his lawyers and forced an adjournment of the trial. (The new trial took place on April 8, and Zhang...
In his defense statement for Zhang Baocheng, lawyer Ge Yongxi argues that the procedural irregularities prove that the trial is nothing but reprisal against a human rights defender. He argues that the evidence, especially video of the peaceful assemblies for which Zhang was indicted, proves that...
This chronology was compiled by Legal Professionals for the Public Good (公益法律人), a Google Group, and lists daily events and actions carried out by lawyers, citizens, and officials involved in the Jiansanjiang case from March 21 to April 15. 维权全程 24 天日志 ( 3.21 — 4.15 ) 3月21日 【官方】 抢手机、绑架关押 。 八点十五左右,...
On appeal of his first-instance verdict and four-year prison sentence, Xu Zhiyong requested that the second instance trial conducted in an open court, and that all witnesses who originally submitted written testimonies be allowed to testify in-person in court. This is a request, submitted by one of...
In this argument submitted to the Beijing Municipal People’s High Court, Xu Zhiyong’s second instance trial defense lawyer, Liu Shuqing (刘书庆), raised three issues: the facts of the first instance trial were unclear; the first and second instance trials had major procedural flaws; and the importance...

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