CECC Publishes New List of 734 Political Prisoners Currently Detained or Imprisoned in China

Congressional-Executive Commission on China | www.cecc.gov

CECC's Political Prisoner Database: A Powerful Resource for Advocacy

July 3, 2008

(Washington, DC)—On June 26, 2008, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) published a partial list of political prisoners currently known or believed to be detained or imprisoned in China. The 214-page compilation, which contains information on 734 cases, is available for download by the public as a pdf at www.cecc.gov.

This new compilation (including case summaries) represents a subset of the more than 4,400 case records contained in the Commission's Political Prisoner Database, which has been accessible by the public since its launch in November 2004 (click here to begin a search). All of the information in the new compilation has been available previously to the public through https://ppd.cecc.gov. Members of Congress visiting Beijing earlier this week presented data on the 734 cases mentioned above to Chinese officials.

There has been heightened public interest in information on political imprisonment, censorship, and social control in China in the run up to the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, in the wake of public protest in Tibetan autonomous areas of China, and in connection with citizen action after the May 12 earthquake (click here for CECC analysis of recent developments).

In the years since its launch, the CECC's Political Prisoner Database has served as a unique and powerful resource for governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), educational institutions, and individuals who research political and religious imprisonment in China, or who advocate on behalf of such prisoners.

No list of Chinese political prisoner cases is ever likely to be complete as long as authorities in China do not themselves acknowledge that "political prisoners" exist in China, or as long as officials in China hinder the flow of information about such cases. There are hundreds of cases of Tibetan political detention resulting from the Tibetan protests on and after March 10 that are not yet listed, as well as a number of cases involving political detention of Uighurs, members of unauthorized religious communities, Falun Gong practitioners, and advocates for worker rights, the environment, civil society, and other individuals whose cases the Commission is researching and documenting for the public.

For more information on political imprisonment in China, see "Political Prisoner Database: A Powerful Resource for Advocacy" on pages 31-33 of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China's 2007 Annual Report.