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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Xu Zhiyong 许志永

Xu Zhiyong, leader of the New Citizen's Movement, jailed for four years in 2014 for "gathering a crowd to disrupt public order", was a lecturer in law at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications until 2009. He received his PhD in law from Peking University in 2002. According to the Guardian, "The charge stems from a series of small protests he organized in 2012 and 2013 to champion rural children's education rights and official transparency." Xu was listed the 100 top World Thinkers in 2013 by Foreign Policy. 

Xu's closing statement to the court was translated by a group called China Change. 
The Chinese version is here; and the English version is here. 
It was very well written and gave a good and detailed explanation of his political stance and the history of his detention. 

He has published a manifesto of the New Citizen's Movement in his blog in Chinese:
And here is the translation in English.

His autobiography To Be a Citizen, compiled by his friends and lawyers Teng Biao and Hua Ze, was published in Chinese in Hong Kong in 2014.

Xu married Chinese journalist Cui Zheng, who works in Caixin, and they had a daughter in the beginning of 2014, two weeks before he was sentenced to prison. Cui Zheng used to be a researcher/news assistant at the Guardian and CNN.  

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