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China in 2014 through the Eyes of a Human Rights Advocate
By Yaxue Cao

This time last year, volunteers and I were busy writing and translating articles to prepare for the New Citizens Movement trials. Many Chinese voices were speaking out forcefully against these trials: law professors, rights lawyers, liberal commentators, as well as a group which called itself the “New Beijingers.” They were Beijing residents and taxpayers without Beijing household registration and their children had difficulty enrolling in schools and could not take college entrance exams in the city where they lived. Dr. Xu Zhiyong was not one of these parents but, because of the Education Fairness Campaign he had led, the legal scholar and initiator of the New Citizens Movement was charged with “disrupting order in a public place.” The “disruption” refers to the gatherings of parents, from a few dozens to a few hundreds, and the “public place” refers to the area in front of the office buildings of the education authorities.

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