Human rights defenders are at the core of all HRIC work. We focus on defenders who are raising systemic rights issues such as: corruption, censorship and surveillance, land expropriation and evictions, environmental degradation, and crackdowns on ethnic groups. Through our in-country network of lawyers, petitioners, activists, journalists, bloggers, and writers, HRIC also monitors important cases, legal and policy developments, and the human rights challenges facing people across the country.
With the rapidly expanding online space and explosion of the number of social media users, people all over China are now pressing for greater transparency, official accountability, and participation in decision-making. HRIC works to support this growing citizen activism by increasing access to information, bringing international attention to domestic calls for action, providing legal assistance and media support for individual cases, and offering training and resources for defenders.
Human rights defenders play a critical role in ensuring peaceful exercise of rights and promoting an independent civil society. As China’s civil society faces increasingly steep restrictions, human rights defenders have become the targets of draconian and comprehensive crackdowns. For their efforts, many human rights defenders have lost their jobs, family members, and personal freedom; many suffer mistreatment and torture in prison.
In these dark times for so many of them, HRIC honors their work, their spirit of dedication, and the great price they continue to pay in promoting the progress of civil society. Please take a moment to send messages to the imprisoned and detained rights defenders—to show your concern, solidarity, and support.