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Chen Qitang

Chen Qitang

HRD, Blogger

Chen Qitang is a blogger from China’s Guangdong Province, where he has written about on issues of land rights, petitioners under the penname “The Natural Order of Things” (天理). After supporting villagers in preparing legal cases against illegal land confiscation by local government, Chen Qitang was sentenced to two and a half years in prison under trumped up charges of fraud and impersonation. Following his release, he continued writing essays, including efforts to publicize cases of trafficking of women and girls. He was most recently detained in 2014 for expressing online support for Hong Kong’s Occupy Central protests.


Human rights defenders in China work in an extremely hostile environment and under President Xi Jinping they have seen the space in which to operate further restricted. Chinese HRDs are active in many spheres, and they include lawyers, journalists, academics, transparency campaigners, housing and land rights activists, bloggers, writers, HIV/AIDS activists and those promoting the rights of ethnic minorities. Regardless of the issues they work on, HRDs who highlight abuses, challenge the authorities or network to support detained colleagues all face reprisals from the government. These range from almost daily harassment and intimidation of family members to detentions, disappearances, torture and imprisonment.