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Ma Xinli

New Citizens Movement

Ma Xinli is a human rights defender who was involved with the New Citizens Movement, a loose collection of individuals campaigning for greater transparency among Chinese Communist Party officials, greater equality within the education system as well as for Constitutional Government. He was arrested in March 2013 after he attempted, with a number of others, to submit a petition to local authorities calling for stricter anti-corruption measures to be introduced. He had also called publicly on Chinese Communist Party officials to disclose their assets. He was detained for nearly a year before being released on bail in February 2014.


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. Furthermore, defenders must operate under very restrictive legislation and vaguely worded laws are selectively enforced to punish HRDs.