Citizen Power Award

Selection Criteria for the Citizen Power Award


The Citizen Power Award shall be bestowed each year to one or more nominees (individuals, organizations, or private enterprises) that:


  1. are exceptionally dedicated to the cause of human rights and universal values, and have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement and defense of human rights in China.

  2. have taken a leadership role to overcome hardship and obstacles to improve human rights conditions for the peoples in China, taking into account the degree of risk, negative consequences and sacrifices borne by the nominee.

  3. have had a profound social impact on, and have been an inspiration to, the peoples in China for creating an enabling environment in which human rights and human dignity are respected.

  4. have taken innovative and courageous actions to address, monitor, and report human rights abuses and to raise awareness of and aim to eliminate all discrimination and injustice against ethnic minorities, women, children, elderly people, and people with disabilities, and whose efforts and work have significantly contributed to the development of a sustainable social movement.

  5. have encouraged greater social harmony and a peaceful transition to democracy and rule of law within China in order to promote human rights and universal values.

  6. have been leaders in defending or helping victims of human rights abuses in China and upholding the Constitution and international law to enhance the rights of all people.




  1.  全身心奉献于人权事业和对普世价值的追求,为促进和维护中国的人权做出卓越的贡献。

  2. 发挥领导作用,克服困难和障碍去改善中国人民的人权状况,并不惜为此承担风险、遭受损失和做出牺牲。

  3. 有深远的社会影响,鼓舞激励人们在中国创造尊重人权和维护人类尊严的环境。

  4. 采取创新和勇敢的行动来表达、监测和报告侵犯人权行为,提升全社会意识,以消除对少数民族、妇女、儿童、老人和残疾人的一切歧视和不公正待遇; 并身体力行,为催生可持续的社会运动作出贡献。

  5. 鼓励扩大社会和谐,和平过渡到中国的民主法治,推动人权和普世价值。

  6. 曾在中国维权或帮助受害者过程中担任领导人,维护宪法和国际法,增进全体人民的权利。 

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the June 4th massacre, it is with  great respect and deep gratitude that we present the Citizen Power Award of 2018 to Mr. Bao Tong, in recognition of his decades-long contribution to building democracy in China, and the personal sacrifices he has made toward achieving a peaceful  transition of China’s political system and support for its civil society.


The June 4, 1989 massacre of protestors was a tragedy of modern China, and a personal disaster for Mr. Bao Tong himself. In the 1980s, Mr. Bao Tong was the primary assistant of Zhao Ziyang, who as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, was also one of the few open-minded leaders of the Party. Bao Tong contributed greatly to supporting Mr. Zhao’s attempts to reform the Chinese political system. During the 1989 student democracy movement, he sympathized with the students and opposed the government's violent oppression of the students.  For this reason, after the June 4 massacre, he was sentenced to seven years in prison, and has been under house arrest and close surveillance since his release from prison.


However, Mr. Bao Tong does not regret losing his government position, nor is he discouraged by the setbacks of Chinese political reform. For years, he has continued to speak out  as a citizen. He has advocated for human rights, and has bravely challenged China’s suppression of civil society. Indeed, it seems that with every setback, the more emboldened he becomes; he never retreats, always displaying  his tremendous willpower and moral character.


Mr. Bao Tong’s consistent sincerity is the embodiment of China’s conscience. He has greatly encouraged and inspired all of us. Mr. Bao Tong has not only been a witness to the tremendous tides that have swept China’s modern  history, he has been a force for good. We are honored to walk side-by-side with Mr. Bao in the right direction of history, and we will surely arrive at our destination. Today, we we pay high tribute to Mr. Bao Tong by presenting him with the Citizen Power Award.

2018 Citizen Power Award

BAO Tong  鮑桐

This honoree is a fierce partner in our fight for democracy. Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett is the President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice. Ten years ago, Katrina founded the Lantos Foundation to continue the human rights work of her legendary father, Congressman Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in the United States Congress. Congressman Lantos not only served as the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but was also the founder of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. Katrina has built on the solid foundation of her father and become a human rights powerhouse in her own right, both through her work at the Lantos Foundation and through her other outside commitments. She is a longtime passionate and forceful advocate and defender of human rights. Her passion for the persecuted and the weak, her love for humanity, her independence in politics, and her innovative thinking have made her a global human rights champion, one who has advanced religious freedom, rule of law, internet freedom, and free speech. She has been beacon of hope and offered strong support for those on the front lines of human rights work around the world.  Katrina has been a friend, mentor, advocate and powerful ally for all of those fighting oppression or injustice. For Katrina's outstanding contributions to human rights, it a great honor for Citizen Power Initiatives for China to present Katrina Lantos Swett with the 2018 Citizen Power Award. 

2018 Citizen Power Award

Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett  可崔娜·蘭托斯 博士

This honoree's personal bravery is humbling and incredibly inspirational. Mihrigul Turson was born in Kuerle City, Xinjiang. She is an ordinary Uyghur woman but has taken extraordinary courage and heroic action in helping to expose to the world the Chinese Communist regime's atrocities against millions of Uyghurs. 


Mihrigul gave birth to beautiful triplets in March 2015. However, when she took her two-month old babies back to Xinjiang in May 2015, the Chinese police detained her and took her babies away from her. She did not see her babies again for another three months, and when she did, they were in hospital, suffering terrible health problems. Her oldest son later died. 


Between May 2015 and April 2018, Mihrigul was taken into detention 3 times. Altogether she survived 10 months in the camps. Each time she was taken, police handcuffed her and put a black sack over her head. Each time, she suffered unbearable torture and mental torment.


The cells were so overcrowded that prisoners had to take turns sleeping. The conditions were filthy, with a single toilet in the room for 60 or more people. Some prisoners had not taken a shower in over one year. The prisoners were fed a starvation diet, often just a steamed bun or watery rice. Mihrigul suffered beatings that caused her hands to bleed. She suffered prolonged sleep deprivation, and electrocution so severe that she begged the guards to kill her.


Because both of Mihrigul's children have Egyptian nationality, the Egyptian Embassy in China intervened. Finally she was allowed to leave China for Egypt. Before boarding, the Chinese authorities warned her not to forget who she was and that her parents were still under the "protection" of China.


Mihrigul has shown tremendous inner strength in surviving China's modern-day concentration camps. As a 29-year-old grieving mother and torture survivor, she chose not to suffer in silence but to come forward to the world stage to tell the truth, to tell about the horrific suffering and cruelty that over a million others are still experiencing in China today, right now. While the Chinese Communists continue to lie and try to cover-up their attack on the Uighur people, Mihrigul's brave testimony has helped shine a light where there has only been darkness. For her extraordinary strength and her courage in coming forward as a public witness to crimes against humanity, Citizen Power Initiatives for China awards her this Citizen Power Award of 2018.

2018 Citizen Power Award

Mihrigul Tursun 米娜

In the dark hour of deficient rule of law in China, against the cold reality of China’s deteriorating human rights, Ms. Wang Qiaoling affords us a deep understanding of the true meaning of love, friendship, courage and responsibility. Until now, we have known little about her. But she is the wife of Li Heping. When her husband was locked behind bars, she came forward lovingly and courageously. She is a friend to Li Wenzu. Instinctively, she uses her embrace to bring warmth to Li Wenzu and many others. By her fearless and judicious actions, she has shown the confidence of the families of the victims of the 709 Crackdown and the defenders of China’s human rights.

Through their sacrifices, the “709” lawyers have brought honor to the Chinese legal profession, serving as a beacon of hope for China’s rule of law. Since July 2015, the “709” lawyers’ families, represented by Wang Qiaoling, have shared in this sacrifice and honor. She has endured the devastating repercussions of her husband’s actions. Yet she continues to smile and fight for justice, because she believes in the virtue of her husband’s conduct and choices. We are honored to present this year’s Citizen Power Award to Ms. Wang Qiaoling, allowing more people to witness this difficult but momentous period in history, and expressing our utmost respect and blessings to the “709” lawyers and their families.

2017 Citizen Power Award

WANG Qiaoling  王峭玲

It is our great honor today to award the 2017 Citizen Power Award to Professor Ilham Tohti for his tireless efforts in promoting peaceful dialogue and understanding between Uyghurs and Chinese, and for advocating for equal rights for Ugyhurs in China, and the realization of cultural, religious, and language rights for his people, as guaranteed under Chinese law.

Ilham Tohti, formerly a professor of economics at the Minzu University in Beijing and the most prominent Ugyhur public intellectual in China, has paid a high price for his moderate writings critiquing ethnic minority policies in China and espousing nonviolence and a peaceful resolution to conflicts between Uyghurs and Chinese.  Despite the fact that Ilham Tohti accepted Chinese sovereignty over Xinjiang and sought only for the realization of the autonomy and rights provided for minorities under Chinese law, he nonetheless was arrested in early 2014 on the charge of “separatism,” and following a two-day show trial in September of that year, given a life sentence. He is currently serving his sentence in Urumqi, Xinjiang.  

Ilham Tohti aimed to serve as a bridge between Uyghurs and Chinese, and to this end launched a Chinese-language website in 2006 called Uyghur Online, which became an important platform for discussion and information about Uyghurs and Xinjiang from the perspective of Uyghurs themselves, so that Chinese could better understand the real situation and problems facing Uyghurs.

For his commitment to nonviolence, peace, and equal rights, and the steep price he is paying for his views and advocacy, we are humbled to salute and honor Professor Ilham Tohti, as an exemplar of Citizen Power, with this award.  

2017 Citizen Power Award

Ilham Tohti  伊力哈木·土赫提

中國民主人權組織公民力量決定,授予牧野聖修2017年度公民力量獎,以表彰他為全力支持中国的民主化和維護人權所進行的的長期的努力。牧野聖修1945年生于中国东北,对中国感情深厚,全力支持中国的民主化。牧野25岁起当选日本静冈市、县议员,1993年起先后4次当选众议院议员,先后出任羽田内阁法务副大臣,野田内阁经济产业副大臣,日本民主党副干事长。牧野于2015年9月创立日本人权财団任理事长。牧野2006年出席了柏林全球支持中国和亚洲民主化论坛被推举为副主席,2006年在日本成立“亚洲和中国的民主化支持会”任主席。2012年11月西藏精神领袖达赖喇嘛访问日本时,在牧野的安排下,第一次在日本国会公开演讲。担任日本支持西藏议员联盟的会长。牧野圣修等21名国会议员2012年10月21号在日本国会成立支持刘晓波议员聨盟,通过决议,要求中国政府立即释放刘晓波,保障言论自由。2012年12月牧野出席了在奥斯陆举行的刘晓波诺贝尔和平奖颁奖仪式。牧野参加了每年举行的六四纪念活动,牧野指出,天安门事件对中国的民主化有积极的意义。2017年8月参加“第一届四笔会平台国际会议——寻求共识空间:没有敌人,也没有仇恨”,获会议颁发的“刘晓波纪念奖”。 過去二十多年來,他一直為在中國實現民主和維護基本人權進行強烈呼吁。

2017 Citizen Power Award

Makino Seishu  牧野聖修

Anastasia Lin is both an accomplished actress and a strong advocate for human rights of persecuted people living in People’s Republic of China, especially Falun Gong practitioners, like herself. She won the Miss World Canada title but was denied participation in the international final contest in Beijing because she has publicly criticized China's brutal repression of  Falun Gong.

Faced with that cruel dilemma, Anastasia has remained loyal to the principles of Falun Gong, and their desperate need for international condemnation that might soften China's brutal practices – practices that even include the gruesome harvesting of organs for sale from live Falun Gong prisoners.

Anastasia Lin has come to symbolize, in a very public way, that we can be brave and stand up to the dictators of Beijing and, at the same time, call the world's attention to their cruelty.  Initiatives for China/Citizen Power for China is pleased to honor Anastasia Lin with Citizen Power Award. (Burt Wides 撰)

2016 Citizen Power Award

Anastasia Lin  林耶凡

在反抗专制、争取民主的努力中,有一种力量,它更强大,那就是非暴力抵抗。在过去数十年中,许多国家的人民没有坐等、一厢情愿地呼吁独裁者改革,而是通过非暴力抵抗终结了貌似强大、似乎会长存下去的专制政权,实现了从专制到民主的转型。唐荆陵先生是一位着名的维权律师,同时也是非暴力不合作行动坚持不懈的倡导者。作爲维权律师,他介入过引起广汎关注的2004年东莞兴昂劳工桉件、2005太石村罢免事件,爲此被吊销律师营业执照。作爲非暴力不合作行动的坚定倡导者, 2006年以来,他发起过多次行动倡议,包括2006年的“中国公民不合作----赎回选票行动”、2007年的“六四静思节行动”、2009的“5千天告别专制倒计时行动”;此外,他还组织、参与了传播了基恩∙夏普等学者关于非暴力抗争的学説、研究着作。2014年,2014年5月与另外两名在广东的公民活动家袁新亭与王清营一同被刑事拘留, 2016年1月被广州中级法院判处五年刑罚。鉴于唐荆陵律师长期的人权捍卫活动和非暴力不合作行动倡导努力,现授予唐荆陵公民力量奖。(王天成 撰)

2016 Citizen Power Award


人类自由不是免费,无往不是争取而来。争取自由的努力,需要非凡的勇气、坚持,需要敢于做出个人牺牲。在当代中国争取民主自由的努力中,许多人都表现出了可敬的品质,胡石根先生无疑是其中最杰出的代表之一。他的勇气、坚持和所付出的个人牺牲,是罕见的。1989年,胡石根作爲北京语言学院教师,积极参与了天安门民主运动,爲此遭受行政处分。天安门屠杀之后,当整个中国陷入恐怖之中、人们噤若寒蝉的时候,胡石根与他的数十位朋友们在1990年代初发起成立了中国自由民主党,开独立组党运动之先河,爲此被判刑20年,身体在狱中遭受严重损害。2008年,因爲奥运会缘故,胡石根被提前释放。在稍作休养后,胡石根又投到了维权运动运动中,成爲一个家庭基督教会领袖。2015年7月9日,胡石根与许多维权律师一同被强迫失踪。2016年1月,家人得到通知,胡石根被以所谓“涉嫌颠覆政府”正式逮捕。为表彰胡石根对中国民主运动的作出的牺牲和贡献,现授予胡石根先生公民力量奖。(王天成 撰)

2016 Citizen Power Award

HU Shigen 胡石根

郭飞雄(本名杨茂东)先生是当今中国人权民主运动的一面旗帜。自2005年4月以来,郭飞雄先后四次刑拘,两度入狱;十一年间,三年在维权第一线,八年在监牢中。郭飞雄投入太石村村民维权运动,树立了知识人与草根民众相结合的榜样,他参加南周事件的街头声援,明确提出“新闻自由,宪政民主”,把个案性诉求上升为普世价值。在监狱中,他饱受折磨,坚强不屈,是真正的硬汉;在法庭上,他慷慨陈词,留下了辩护词与上诉书两篇光辉文本。为表彰郭飞雄先生对中国人权民主事业的杰出贡献谨以及我们对他的崇高敬意,现授予郭飞雄先生公民力量奖。(胡平 撰)

2016 Citizen Power Award

GUO Feixiong 郭飞雄

Palden Gyatso (born 1933 in Panam, Tibet. Passed away on November 30, 2018) was a Tibetan Buddhist monk who was born in Tibet in 1933. During the Chinese invasion of Tibet he was arrested for protesting and spent 33 years in Chinese prisons and labor camps, where he was extensively tortured. After his release in 1992 he fled to Dharamsala, (North India) in exile. He is still a practising monk and political activist, traveling the world publicizing the cause of Tibet. He was the subject of the 2008 film Fire Under the Snow.

2016 Citizen Power Award

Ven. Paden Gyaltso 巴登嘉措

Citizen Power Award is presented to Mr. DING Jiaxi, for his exceptional leadership in the Citizen Movement in China. It is unfortunate for the arrest of Mr. DING Jiaxi, who is still serving prison term inside China. IFC hopes to use this opportunity to express our strongest support to Mr. DING Jiaxi and his family.

2015 Citizen Power Award

DING Jiaxi 丁家喜

The Human Rights Champion Award is presented to the Federation of Hong Kong Students by Citizens Power for China for the Federation's exceptional dedication to the cause of human rights and civil liberty. Their commitment to these universal values, and their dedicated pursuit of them for the people of Hong Kong has been an inspiration to all freedom loving people in China and around the globe. We particularly  salute the Federation's resolve and bravery, in the face of overt and covert opposition by the Chinese Communist Government, which seeks to suppress the full democracy promised to all citizens of Hong Kong in the "One Country - Two systems" principle of the Sino-British Declartion of 1984 and Basic Law that is Hong Kong's Constition. The people of Hong Kong, and all those who support their cause, are graterful. We pledge continued effort to ensure that the United States properly seeks to protect those assurance for Hong Kong.

2015 Citizen Power Award

The Federation of Hong Kong Students 香港专上学生联会

The Human Rights Champion Award is presented to Representative James McGovern for his exceptional dedication to the cause of human rights and civil liberty. His commitment to these universal values and his tireless efforts for decades to advance them for the people of all nations has inspired both Americans and victims of oppression around the globe. We particularly appreciate and salute Representative McGovern's persistence in exposing the Chinese Communist Government's brutal suppression of human rights for all the ethnic and faith minorities, and individual prisoners of conscience, in China. They long to breathe free and and they look to the United States of America to champion their cause. Representative McGovern has been their champion. The victims of oppression, and we, who support their cause, are grateful.

2015 Citizen Power Award

Rep. James McGovern 吉米·麥高文眾議員

The Human Rights Champion Award is presented to Representative Christopher Smith for his exceptional dedication to the cause of human rights and civil liberty. His commitment to these universal values and his tireless efforts for decades to advance them for the people of all nations has inspired both Americans and victims of oppression around the globe. We particularly appreciate and salute Representative Smith's  persistence in exposing the Chinese Communist Government's brutal suppression of human rights for all the ethnic and faith minorities, and individual prisoners of conscience, in China. They long to breathe free and and they look to the United States of America to champion their cause. Representative Smith has been their champion. The victims of oppression, and we, who support their cause, are grateful.

2015 Citizen Power Award

Rep. Christopher Smith 克瑞斯·史密斯眾議員

© 2018 by Citizen Power Initiatives for China.

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