Created in 2000, Dui Hua’s Political Prisoner Database (PPDB) contains information about political and religious prisoners incarcerated in China since 1980. Using mostly open-source materials, Dui Hua collects information on non-violent:

  • Political dissidents: people imprisoned for expressing their opposition to one-party rule by exercising universally recognized rights to free speech and association and often charged with “endangering state security” crimes such as “subversion” and “incitement”
  • Religious practitioners: people persecuted for holding religious beliefs that are not officially sanctioned, including members of house churches and Falun Gong
  • Ethnic minorities: people labeled “splittists” and jailed for participating in cultural and pro-independence movements
  • Petitioners: people jailed for seeking redress to grievances related to land seizure, demolition, corruption, miscarriages of justice, and other issues

The purpose of the PPDB is to advance clemency and better treatment for at-risk detainees by analyzing trends in the persecution of individuals who exercise their universal human rights to free speech, association, and expression; documenting the treatment of political and religious prisoners in the criminal justice system; providing raw material for the drafting of prisoner lists of concern; and informing dialogue with government officials inside and outside China.

PPDB 2023Q4

Names: 48,699

People under coercive measures: 7,3171

Official records: 22,791

Unofficial records: 40,162

as of December 31, 2023

 

Key Metrics for Active (under coercive measures) Cases

Total Prisoners 48,699
Active (under coercive measures) 7,371

Top Crimes

Organizing/using a cult to undermine implementation of the law 2,772
Picking quarrels and provoking troubles 434
Endangering State Security – Splittism; Inciting splittism 428
Endangering State Security – State Secrets; Espionage 229
Endangering State Security – Subversion; Inciting subversion 98

Top Provinces

Xinjiang 1,298
Sichuan 717
Shandong 354
Henan 323
Guangdong 319
Liaoning 316

Gender

Male 2,620
Female 1,937

Gender by Top Crimes

M F
Cult 633 1,336
Picking quarrels 191 150
Splittism; Inciting splittism 194 25

The information above is based on information Dui Hua has obtained, the information does not represent all cases involving political prisoners in China.