Born 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.

Names: 38,773

People Imprisoned: 6,885

Official reports: 15,526

Unofficial reports: 33,166

as of October 1, 2018


Total Prisoners 38773
Active 6885


Top Crimes

Organizing/using a cult to undermine implementation of the law 3658
Picking quarrels and provoking troubles 470
ESS – Inciting splittism 358
Disturbing social order 115
Endangering state security 367


Top Provinces

Sichuan 752
Liaoning 569
Xinjiang 640
Shandong 410
Tibet 359



M 2486
F 2211


Gender by Top Crimes

Cult 1013 1803
Picking quarrels 198 162
Inciting splittism 152 34

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