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By Teng Biao, published: August 27, 2013 (The article first appeared in Life and Death in China (a multi-volume anthology of 50+ witness accounts of Chinese government persecution and 30+ essays by experts in human rights in China). When I wrote it, Xu Zhiyong was under house arrest; when it was published, he had already moved to the Beijing Third Detention Center. I dedicate this little essay to Xu Zhiyong and all those reactionaries whose homes have become prisons or who have made prisons their homes. – Teng Biao)   When Xu Zhiyong and I received the “Ten People in Rule of Law in 2003” award at CCTV, the host Sa Beining (撒贝宁) asked us, “What is the power of the rule of law?” I […]


By Guo Yushan, Published: August 10, 2013   That government, powerful as it was, didn’t scare me into doing anything unjust.                                                                — Ascribed to Socrates by Plato in The Apology Zhiyong, Congratulations for having been put in jail. I have been worrying that, if they leave you free after arresting so many of your friends in the New Citizens’ Movement, how viciously they would have put you in an unjust position. Now it looks like the government is helping you out. Along with dozens of other participants in the Movement, you are also wearing the prison vest and paying the […]


Published: July 16, 2013 According to our sources, Xu Zhiyong (许志永), one of China’s best known dissidents and activists, has been criminally detained on Tuesday, July 16. Per an earlier report by weiquanwang (维权网) and information circulated on Twitter,  Dr. Xu was taken away from his Beijing home Tuesday afternoon, and his computers and cellphones were seized. Dr. Xu is one of the founders of Gong Meng (公盟), or the Open Constitution Initiative, and a lecturer at Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications. In the last couple of years, he has been tirelessly advocating civil action such as same-city citizen dinner gatherings, equal education rights, and what is more generally known as the new citizens’ movement. According to the Notice of Detention, Dr. Xu was detained for allegedly […]


By Xu Zhiyong China’s rights movement through the work of Gong Meng.    1 April 25, 2003, as SARS emptied out the streets in Beijing, I sat in front of my computer reading about the Sun Zhigang (孙志刚) coverage, tears quietly welling up in my eyes. Over the second half of 2002, I had started to investigate the laws concerning custody and repatriation (of migrant populations), and knew what Sun had gone through. Following Sun’s tragedy, Yu Jiang (俞江), Teng Biao (滕彪) and I proposed a constitutional review of the case. We mailed our recommendation on May 14 because, on the 13th, the propaganda department of the government banned further “hype” about Sun’s case. Headlines like “Three PhDs Request Constitutional Review” gave the media new fodder, and our […]


By Xu Zhiyong, published: March 11, 2013     To the regular readers of this blog, Dr. Xu Zhiyong (许志永) is no stranger. He’s one of the founders of Gong Meng (公盟), or Open Constitution Initiative, a Beijing-based NGO dedicated to providing legal assistance to the disempowered and to developing civil society. As hundreds of others, Dr. Xu has recently been placed under house arrest because he is deemed a threat to stability and therefore must be locked up to ensure serene meetings of both the NPC and CPPCC, now in session in Beijing. During his confinement last week, he wrote a long letter, his second one, to Xi Jinping (original here, the first was written during the 18th Party’s congress last November). With his approval, […]


By Xu Zhiyong Today and tomorrow, we bring to you two articles about the case of a young man called Song Ze. He was a volunteer at Dr. Xu Zhiyong’s Open Constitution Initiative, an NGO dedicated to providing legal aid to disempowered people in China. We at SRIC are in no position to fully report the many cases such as Song Ze’s, but what we can do, and are trying to do here, is to illustrate a case well enough so that it sheds light and provides insight. On China’s black jails which this article explains very well, you may also want to watch Melissa Chan’s report that allegedly got her expelled from China. Hannah is the translator of the following piece by Dr. Xu. […]


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