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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 351 - 400 of 624
Ding Jiaxi was tried on April 8-9, 2014, for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place,” in connection with his participation in citizen actions calling for disclosure of officials’ assets as a way to fight corruption since 2012. The trial concluded on April 9 without a verdict. Ding’s...
[Translation by Human Rights in China] The “New Citizens” trials in their entirety, whether procedurally or substantively, have left the dignity of the rule of law in utter ruin. As legal professionals, you are in fact well aware that the “disrupting order in a public place” charges against us are...
Activist Zhao Changqing's lawyer, Zhang Peihong, said in his defense arguments delivered at the Haidian District Court in Beijing that the very fact he must defend Zhao Changqing in court is a double insult to people's intelligence and the law. Zhang argued that the acts for which Zhao has been...
In this administrative complaint submitted to the Heilongjiang Provincial High People's Court, lawyer Zhang Lei ( 张磊 ) challenges the Qixing Sub-branch of the Jiansanjiang Farm Reclamation Public Security Bureau on the appropriateness of its imposition of martial law measures and cordoning roads...
In this administrative complaint submitted to the Heilongjiang Provincial High People's Court, lawyer Zhang Lei (张磊) , who represents detained lawyer Wang Cheng (王成) , alleges that the defendants— authorities of the Jiansanjiang Farm Reclamation Public Security Bureau, its Qixing Sub-branch, and...
After Chinese dissident author Du Daobin was released from three years in jail in December 2010 for “inciting subversion of state power,” he has been harassed and monitored by the authorities on an on-going basis. Upon his release, a local police officer in Yingcheng, Hebei Province, required him...
After being sentenced to four years in prison for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” during his first instance trial, Xu Zhiyong, a key advocate of the New Citizens Movement, filed an appeal. For the second instance trial, defense lawyers Zhang Qingfang and Liu Shuqing have...
In this account, lawyer W ang S hengsheng ( 王胜生 ) describes a forced entry by police officers into her hotel room in the early morning on March 29 in Jiansanjiang, and her subsequent kidnapping. At the time, Wang and more than a dozen other lawyers—including Fu Yonggang ( 付永刚 ) and Wang Quanzhang...
The Jiansanjiang Farm Reclamation Public Security Bureau issued this statement after the March 21 detention of four lawyers — Jiang Tianyong (江天勇) , Tang Jitian (唐吉田) , Wang Cheng (王成) , and Zhang Junjie (张俊杰) —and approximately 19 citizens. The statement, posted on the Weibo account of a state-...
“China Human Rights Watch” is a Chinese citizen non-profit, public interest, civil society group, established in accordance with the law. The person in charge of the group stated in the group’s registration announcement that members had formally applied to register China Human Rights Watch with the...
Lawyer Xie Yang (谢 阳) , who represents Jiang Tianyong, describes in this account that he arrived in Jiansanjiang in the morning of April 2 and went straight to the Qixing Public Security Bureau sub-branch and asked to meet with Lawyer Jiang Tianyong. The deputy branch chief of the bureau told Xie...
This rebuttal was written by lawyer Liu Sixin (刘四新) , who has a doctorate in law from Beida, in response to an op-ed published by the Global Times, in Chinese and English , on April 2, 2014, that accuses the lawyers involved in the Jiansanjiang incident of inciting “illegal activities rather than...
Women human rights defenders in China have launched an online appeal asking women lawyers to protest the thug-like treatment of fellow lawyer Wang Shengsheng (王胜生) in Jiansanjiang by posing for photos with black hoods over their heads, with hands bound, and wearing placards that read "Women lawyers...
Lawyers and citizens sent the following letter to the Ministry of Public Security regarding the illegal detention of citizens and rights defense lawyers in Jiansanjiang:
This urgent complaint was filed by a number of citizens before the Heilongjiang Supreme People’s Procuratorate against Sui Fengfu, Party Secretary of the General Bureau of Farm Reclamation of Heilongjiang, (黑龙江农垦总局) and others for abduction, illegal detention, and other crimes. From 9:00 a.m. to 4:...
蔡瑛律師建三江维权继续 距离21日唐吉田、江天勇、王成和张俊杰律师被拘押已经八天,我现在北京。25日从建三江回到长沙后,司法部门不断通知,首先是试探性询问建三江之事,暗示不要介入,之后开始盘查代理手续是否完善,最后完全暴露丑恶目的,要求我退出代理。在我这里遭到拒绝甚至痛斥后,湖南省司法厅、长沙市司法局强令事务所主任,必须阻止蔡瑛代理建三江案件,要不惜一切手段抢回蔡瑛的代理手续。 黑龙江多位律师为了争取会见权,为了维护法制在绝食在抗争,这里司法部门不仅不出言支持律师维权,竟然要制止律师代理。对这群人我真是无法可说,但我还是决定去北京全国律师协会递交材料,明知道去了也枉然,但必要的程序还是要到位...
Human rights lawyer Liu Weiguo circulated online 20 templates of Open Government Information requests seeking disclosure of information concerning the detention of the four lawyers and the authorities’ refusal to allow them to meet their lawyers. Liu asks citizens to fill out the applications, mail...
Four rights defense lawyers, Jiang Tianyong ( 江天勇 ), Tang Jitian ( 唐吉田 ), Wang Cheng ( 王成 ) , and Zhang Junjie ( 张俊杰 ) , as well as an unknown number of citizens were detained by police authorities in Jiansanjiang, Heilongjiang Province (黑龙江省建三江) one day after they visited a "legal education base"...
In this public statement, Chinese human rights lawyers and citizens condemn the detention of four prominent human rights lawyers, Jiang Tianyong (江天勇), Tang Jitian (唐吉田), Wang Cheng (王成), and Zhang Junjie (张俊杰), as well as many citizens by authorities in the Jiansanjiang Bureau of Management at...
The statement condemns the Chinese government’s persecution of Cao Shunli that led to her death and lists the following demands: Investigate and make public details of Cao’s detention and her condition between September 14, 2013 and the time of her death; Investigate and make public the cause and...
Open Government Information requests submitted by human rights defender Cao Shunli ’s lawyer, Wang Yu (王宇) and another lawyer, Liu Weiguo (刘卫国) . In the requests, the lawyers press the Chaoyang District Detention Center in Beijing to disclose information concerning its handling of Cao's medical...
Since the Chinese government began its crackdown on the New Citizens Movement in March 2013, dozens of citizens who have actively promoted or participated in the movement have been arrested. To remember these activists who are behind bars for their common pursuit of democracy and freedom in China,...
Prior to the start of the 12th National People's Congress, the lawyers of Xu Zhiyong, Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing , and other activists—who have been prosecuted for their participation in the New Citizens Movement—as well as domestic intellectuals, business people, and journalists, jointly issued an...
Rights defender, Guo Feixiong , was detained on August 8, 2013, and formally arrested on September 14 on suspicion of “gathering crowds to disrupt order in public places.” Guo’s lawyer, Zhang Xuezhong, argues that through reviewing the case file and a meeting with Guo, not only are the Guangzhou...
The New School for Democracy and Editorial Board of Anthology of June 4th Poetry have organized a poetry film contest to commemorate June Fourth. The contest aims to broaden artistic creativity and perspectives on freedom by giving participants the opportunity to reflect on and share memories about...
The Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People's Court sentenced Xu Zhiyong (许志永) , leading advocate of the New Citizens Movement, to four years’ imprisonment for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place,” one year short of the maximum penalty for the charge. The court issued the...
On January 29, 2014, after Xue Fushun (薛福顺) , father of China Democracy Party member Xue Mingkai (薛明凯) , had fled to the Qufu Municipal Procuratorate seeking protection, domestic security officials informed his wife, Wang Shuqing (王书清 ) , that he had “committed suicide by jumping to his death.”...
In anticipation of the second session of the 12th National People’s Congress, due to convene on March 5, 2014, Hangzhou lawyer Wang Cheng launches an online signature campaign for an appeal, called “A Civil Rights Proposal,” to the current NPC Standing Committee to immediately ratify the...
New Citizens Movement activist Yuan Dong was tried at the Beijing Haidian District People’s Court on January 27, 2014 for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” He was detained, along with other activists, on April 4, 2013 and later formally arrested after unfurling banners and...
Citing procedural violations by the police, procuratorate, and the court, Cheng Hai (程海) , one of the defense lawyers for Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜) , charged with “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” (聚众扰乱公共场所秩序罪), withdrew from the case during Ding’s trial at Beijing’s Haidian District...
In this statement delivered on January 24, 2014 at the Guangdong Municipal Tianhe District People’s Court, Liu Yuandong’s lawyer, Liu Zhengqing, argued that the charges brought against his client have no factual and legal basis. Liu Zhengqing said the prosecution is a political persecution from the...
New Citizens Movement activists Zhang Baocheng and Yuan Dong were detained on April 4, 2013 and formally arrested on May 7, 2013 for unfurling banners and distributing leaflets calling for disclosure of officials’ assets. On December 11, 2013, the Beijing Haidian District People’s Court...
Statement by Xu Zhiyong’s lawyer, Zhang Qingfang, upon receiving his client’s verdict: four years’ imprisonment for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” Xu, a key advocate of the New Citizens Movement, was tried last Wednesday, January 22, at the Beijing Municipal No. 1...
Indictment issued by the Guangdong Municipal Tianhe District People’s Procuratorate, formally charging Liu Yuandong, key initiator of the Southern Street Movement (南方街头运动), with “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” and “false declaration of registered capital.” Liu’s trial took...
Hou Xin read her statement to the court during her trial at the Beijing Municipal Haidian District Court on January 23. She is charged with “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place,” in connection with her observing and taking photographs of a street action on March 31, 2013, in Xidan...
A little more than two hours into his trial at the Haidian District Court in Beijing today, veteran activist Zhao Changqing dismissed his two defense lawyers on the ground that serious procedural violations by the prosecution and the court have made it impossible for him to have a fair trial and...
In this open recommendation to the National People’s Congress, the signers urge Congress to conduct a review of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Assemblies, Processions and Demonstrations and repeal it because they find it in violation of the Constitution. The signers explain that the...
Yao Wentian, editor-in-chief of the Hong Kong-based, Morning Bell Press, was arrested and held in Shenzhen for three months. Authorities accused Yao of carrying contraband, but those familiar with the circumstances believe that his arrest is related to the upcoming publication of a book that...
After Li submitted the applications, police raided Li's home in search of computers and phones, and on May 24, 2013, confiscated Li's USB key and placed him under a 15-day administrative detention as punishment for “inciting illegal assembly.” Li filed a complaint against Guangzhou Municipal Public...
On the afternoon of January 21, 2014, citizens from different parts of the country gathered in front of the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court and Beijing Haidian District People's Court holding banners in support of Xu Zhiyong, Ding Jiaxi, and other rights defenders who are facing trial...
The trial of Xu Zhiyong, New Citizens Movement activist, opened January 22 at 9:00 a.m. at the Beijing No1 Intermediate People's Court, and ended the same day. The court will announce later the date of verdict. Xu was charged with "assembling a crowd to disrupt order in a public place" for his role...
Shanghai petitioner Li Yufang ( 李玉芳 ) was officially arrested on January 2, 2014, on the charge of “obstructing official business,” after being detained on December 19, 2013, by the Yangpu District branch of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau. Li’s was first detained after petitioning for help—by...
This reflection was written when the author, Xiao Guozhen, was fasting for one day on January 4, 2014, as part of an international hunger strike relay to commemorate June Fourth victims. The hunger strike relay is part of the Tianxia Weicheng campaign, which was kicked off in the United States on...
In this New Year’s message, the lawyers express their continued dedication to defending citizens' rights and interests, pursuing democracy and rule of law, and aspiring to the implementation of constitutional governance. To accomplish these goals, the lawyers strongly demand that the National...
On December 13, Liu helped Chen Jianfang file an Administrative Complaint and a Request for Administrative Compensation against the Baiyun airport police and the Baiyun border inspection officials for preventing Chen from going to Geneva on September 14, 2013 to attend a human rights training and...
In this statement , the group condemns the detention of Liu Shihui on January 5 when he was inquiring at the Dadong Jie police substation in the Yuexiu District of Guangzhou about three individuals taken into custody the day before. The group calls Liu’s detention unlawful and demands his immediate...
In the indictment, the authorities use publicly calling for “equal education” and “disclosure of officials’ assets” as their main justification for charging Ding Jiaxi and Li Wei with “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” Translated by the people. Beijing Municipal Haidian...
In the indictment, the authorities use publicly calling for “equal education” and “disclosure of officials’ assets” as their main justification for charging Xu Zhiyong with “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” Translated by the people. Beijing Municipal People’s Procuratorate, No...
The defense statement argues that, not only were there procedural violations in the trial—witnesses were not being informed and the trial proceeded without jurors— but the prosecutor’s allegations were inconsistent with the facts, and there was a serious lack of evidence to support the charge of “...
Sun Juchang, a Qingdao resident, worked for two years in Algeria as a laborer. The company that hired him had lured workers with promises of high wages but, once on the ground, paid them poorly, made them work 12 hours a day without days off, and did not provide medical care for sick workers. After...

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