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Political Prisoner Database

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


Names: 35,846

People imprisoned: 7,506

Official reports: 13,209

Unofficial reports: 30,872

as of May 31, 2017


The purpose of the PPDB is to advance clemency and better treatment for at-risk detainees by: (1) analyzing trends in the persecution of individuals who exercise their universal human rights to free speech, association, and expression; (2) documenting the treatment of political and religious prisoners in the criminal justice system; (3) providing raw material for the drafting of prisoner lists of concern; and (4) informing dialogue with government officials inside and outside China.

Mass Incidents Database

Dui Hua’s Mass Incident Database (MIDB) comprises records of public incidents resulting from Chinese citizens’ discontent over myriad social, economic, environmental, and labor issues. Due to the intersection of these issues with those raised by political prisoners, research on mass incidents offers a glimpse into China’s human rights situation outside the criminal justice system. Started in 2007 with support from the Smith Richardson Foundation and the International Republican Institute, the MIDB also creates opportunities for outreach and collaboration among governments, NGOs, researchers, and the public.

Total: 13,305

Involving Detentions: 3,396

as of May 31, 2017