Chronicle of Suppression against Civil Society in Recent Years


Since 2014, top provincial official, Xia Bolong, strictly implemented a “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign in Zhejiang Provincial, which was the centre of Chinese Christian Churches, to demolish crosses or churches. Up to date, more than 2000 crosses were demolished or removed, influencing several hundred religious sites.

On January 2014, Xu Zhiyong, the key proponent of the New Citizens’ Movement in China was found guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison for "gathering crowds to disrupt public order." by the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People’s Court.

On April 24th, 2014, a Chinese journalist, Gao Yu, was arrested. On November 26th, 2015, the Beijing's high court reduced the sentence of Gao from seven years to five years in prison and deprived her of political rights for one year in an appealing trial.

On June 13th, 2014, human rights defense lawyer Pu Zhiqiang was arrested by the Beijing police on suspicion of "creating disturbances and illegally obtaining personal information.” In December 2015, he was given a suspended three-year prison sentence. In April of the following year, he was disbarred by the Justice Bureau of Beijing.


On January 1st, 2015, French "Le Nouvel Observateur" Beijing correspondent, Ursula Gauthier, was expelled from China.

From March 6th to 7th, 2015, five feminists Wu Rongrong, Zheng Churan, Li Tingting, Wang Man and Wei Tingting were arrested. The five was later released on April 13th in the same year.

On May 30th, 2015, Guangzhou labour activist and former member of Workers’ Autonomous Federation, Liu Shaoming, has been arrested and detained until now. The authority charged Liu with“Inciting Subversion of State Power.”The trial was ended on April 15th, 2016 without a verdict. 

On July 1st, 2015, the National People's Congress passed the “National Security Law of the People's Republic of China” (New Security Law) to further expand the scope of the definition of state security. And the law clearly stipulated to adhere to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (Article 4 of Chapter 1 and Article 15 of Chapter 2). In other words, it integrates the safety of CCP into state security.

Since the first half of July 2015, hundreds of Chinese lawyers, social activists, petitioners and relatives of rights defenders were suddenly being arrested, subpoenaed and criminally detained by the police. Some of them are still missing nowadays. The number of people who were criminally detained, taken away, gone missing, interrogated, subpoenaed or temporarily lost of freedom were countless and spread out to more than 23 provinces.

From December 3rd to 5th, 2015, a large scale of government suppression against labour organizations in Guangzhou occurred. At least four labour organizations with a total of 25 staff and volunteers were detained and interrogated by the police. Seven of them were even detained for a long period or missing. Up to date, two of them were still under detention.


On January 1st, 2016, famous pastor Joseph Gu of the state-sanctioned Chongyi Church in Zhejiang Province was detained on suspicion of “embezzling funds”. According to Reuters, he was arrested after his opposition against the removal of church crucifixes.

On January 29th, 2016, a registered church pastor in Shuzhen City of Zhejiang Province, Ji Hua, was placed under criminal detention along with his wife Zhang by the county police and charged with accepting bribes and embezzlement.

On April 8th, 2016, The People’s Procuratorate of Guangzhou convicted supporters of umbrella movements, Xie Wen Fei, Wong Mo, and Zhang Sheng of “inciting subversion of state power”. Wang Mo and Xie Wenfei were sentenced to four-and-a-half years while Zhang Shengyu received four years on the same charge. They will be deprived of political rights for three years.

On April 28th, 2016, the National People’s Congress approved the “Law of the People's Republic of China on the Administration of Activities of Overseas Non-Governmental Organizations within the Territory of China” to strengthen the state control on NGOs including source of fund and the areas of activities, that further suppresses civil society in mainland China. The law will be effective on January 1st, 2017.