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Li Qiaochu, January 11, 2021 A little past midnight on February 16, 2020, two men wearing PPE gowns to protect them from COVID-19 entered prominent civil rights activist Xu Zhiyong (许志永) apartment in Beijing, forced Li Qiaochu’s (李翘楚), Xu’s 27-year-old girlfriend, into a chair, and put a mask on her. A third man who followed them in handcuffed her from behind. “We are from the Public Security Bureau.” Before opening the door for the visitors, Ms. Li had had only a moment to send a brief message to friends, “Someone is knocking on the door.” Earlier that day Xu Zhiyong was found and detained in Guangzhou, having eluded police search for about seven weeks since the arrests began in late December, 2019, following a gathering […]
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Reports
  • ‘Criminal Judgment’ of Citizen Journalist Zhang Zhan by Court in Shanghai

    ‘Criminal Judgment’ of Citizen Journalist Zhang Zhan by Court in Shanghai

    January 15, 2021 Zhang Zhan (张展), a resident of Shanghai and a former lawyer, went to Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in February, video recorded what she saw, spoke to locals, wrote down her observations and thoughts, and posted them on social media platforms inside and outside China. She was detained in May and sentenced to four years …
  • Mowing Down

    Mowing Down

    Yaxue Cao, December 22, 2020 I saw this cartoon and can’t get out of my head. It’s the work of Polish illustrator Pawel Kuczynski but it struck me as a succinct portrait of China. In the coming days and weeks, I will write a series of stories illustrating the mowing down in action, and I will start with the story of …
  • A Grassroots Dissident’s Brief Account of Prison Mistreatment

    A Grassroots Dissident’s Brief Account of Prison Mistreatment

    Yuan Fengchu, November 18, 2020 Yuan Fengchu (袁奉初) is a dissident and activist from Chibi, Hubei (湖北赤壁). Because of his activities mostly in Guangdong during 2010-2013 as part of the “Southern Street Movement,” he was jailed twice, spending seven years of the last seven and a half years in prison, free for only four months between two prison terms. He …
  • China Disbars 709 Lawyer Xie Yang Who Denied He Was Tortured in 2017 in a Deal Allowing Him to Continue His Law Practice

    China Disbars 709 Lawyer Xie Yang Who Denied He Was Tortured in 2017 in a Deal Allowing Him to Continue His Law Practice

    China Change, August 28, 2020 On August 11, 2020, Hunan provincial Justice Department issued a “Notice of Administrative Penal Action” [translation included below] permanently disbarring lawyer Xie Yang (谢阳). Those who have followed the 709 crackdown on human rights lawyers will recall that the then-detained Xie Yang, one of the only two 709 detainees who eventually got to see their …
Analysis and Opinions
Interviews and profiles
  • Zhang Zhan: A Six-Minute Documentary

    Zhang Zhan: A Six-Minute Documentary

    December 28, 2020 Per request of the filmmaker, who wishes to remain anonymous, China Change posts this short film about Zhang Zhan. Zhang Zhan (张展), a lawyer who practiced in Shanghai, went to Wuhan in early February, determined to document the coronavirus outbreak in the city that was the epicenter of what would soon become a pandemic around the world. …
  • Documenting Mass Protest Incidents: The Extraordinary Story of Two Ordinary Chinese

    Documenting Mass Protest Incidents: The Extraordinary Story of Two Ordinary Chinese

    Yaxue Cao, October 31, 2020 1. The Arrest The ancient city of Dali (大理), a small town in China’s southwest, boasts a history of more than 600 years. For visitors from China proper, the most eye-catching features of the Yunnan plateau may be the sapphire-blue sky and the grey tiles and elaborately carved beams of the white-walled houses. Because the …
  • Ding Jiaxi and Alfred

    Ding Jiaxi and Alfred

    Luo Shengchun, August 31, 2020 I I was in Hawaii with my daughters on Christmas break when I heard that Jiaxi (丁家喜) had been detained. I was climbing a hiking trail by the sea, my girls splashing in the water at the beach below. The sky and the sea were a brilliant blue; the white sand beach stretched endless in …
  • Turning the Tables: Interviews with Chen Guiqiu & Chen Jiangang About Revealing the Torture of Lawyer Xie Yang and the Smear Campaign That Followed During the 709 Crackdown

    Turning the Tables: Interviews with Chen Guiqiu & Chen Jiangang About Revealing the Torture of Lawyer Xie Yang and the Smear Campaign That Followed During the 709 Crackdown

    Xie Yang, a lawyer based in Changsha, was one of the 709 lawyers detained and charged with “subversion.” From autumn 2016 to the beginning of 2017, his wife and attorneys exposed the torture he suffered, the first of such revelations that would be echoed later by other 709 detainees. To deny the torture of Xie Yang and fend off international …
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