Please pay attention on a Chinese anonymous blogger named programthink, sentenced to 7 years in prison by the Chinese government

Dear Tor Development Team,

I am writing to you to request your support for a Chinese blogger named programthink (, who has recently been sentenced to 7 years in prison by the Chinese government due to his opinions.

Programthink (Ruan Xiaohuan - Wikipedia) is an anonymous geek who has dedicated himself to promoting internet freedom, protecting privacy, circumventing China’s internet censorship, and advocating for freedom and equality. He has spent decades opposing authoritarian governments. He was once the chief engineer responsible for the network security of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and is also the author of the GitHub project GitHub - programthink/zhao: 【编程随想】整理的《太子党关系网络》,专门揭露赵国的权贵. This project exposes information about high-ranking Chinese officials and has compelled the Chinese government to issue a takedown request to GitHub (gov-takedowns/ at master · github/gov-takedowns · GitHub). His blog has helped thousands of people think independently and embrace a free internet. Unfortunately, he was arrested in 2021 and unfairly sentenced to 7 years in prison on charges of inciting subversion against the state.

He is a staunch supporter of the Tor project and has mentioned Tor in several of his blog posts, promoting Tor’s ideology of privacy protection and encouraging people to use Tor to access the internet. If you could do something to help, I believe Ruan Xiaohuan and his countless loyal readers would be immensely grateful. Here are some of his blog posts where he mentions Tor:

如何用 Tor 访问对 Tor 不友好的网站——扫盲“三重代理”及其它招数 @ 编程随想的博客 (Introducing Tor Triple Proxy)

“如何翻墙”系列:扫盲 Tor Browser 7.5——关于 meek 插件的配置、优化、原理 @ 编程随想的博客 (Introducing Tor Browser with Meek plugin)

“如何翻墙”系列:TOR 已复活——meek 流量混淆插件的安装、优化、原理 @ 编程随想的博客 (Explaining Tor and Meek plugin principles)

“如何翻墙”系列:关于 Tor 的常见问题解答 @ 编程随想的博客 (Frequently Asked Questions about Tor)

扫盲 Arm——Tor 的界面前端(替代已死亡的 Vidalia) @ 编程随想的博客 (Introducing Tor and Arm)

As the Tor Development Team, you have been dedicated to protecting user privacy and anonymity. It is because of the existence of the Tor network that people around the world can access censored or blocked websites and express their opinions without fear of tracking or retaliation. I firmly believe that you understand the importance of maintaining internet freedom.

The case of programthink has been covered by some international media outlets, such as:



PEN America:

vice: An Anonymous Critic Played Cat and Mouse with Beijing for 12 Years. Then He Got Caught.

According to Chinese legal procedures, the second trial (which is, to some extent, the final verdict) will take place at the Shanghai High People’s Court before May 22nd this year. His wife, Ms. Bei (, is also trying to draw international media attention and hopes for a different outcome in the second trial. Given the urgency and significance of programthink’s case, I humbly request any form of assistance and support from you. Here are some suggestions:

Awareness Campaign: Use official Tor network channels to spread information about programthink’s case, raising awareness among the public. This can help people understand the threats he faces and inspire more support and protection for him.

Connecting Resources: If you have contacts with relevant legal or human rights organizations, please help Ms. Bei establish communication with them to seek further support and advice.

I believe that the Tor Development Team possesses strong technical expertise and a humanitarian spirit. You will recognize the importance of this issueand be willing to provide the necessary help and support to programthink. Through your efforts, we can collectively defend freedom of speech and information.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Your assistance in supporting programthink and advocating for his release would be greatly appreciated. I remain hopeful that together we can make a difference in upholding the values of internet freedom and protecting those who courageously fight for it.



As of June 7, the Twitter account belonging to Bei Zhenying, wife of well-known blogger program-think(whose real name is Ruan Xiaohuan), appears to have been deleted. The abrupt deletion of her relatively new account @ruanxiaohu32309, coming so soon after the politically sensitive June 4 anniversary and the news of her husband’s seven-year prison sentencefor his online writings, has caused widespread concern for Ms. Bei’s safety among human rights organizations and other observers. Several days ago, the human rights organization Weiquanwang (维权网, Wéiquánwǎng ) reported that in early June, Ms. Bei was detained by the Shanghai police and later released, but because the police confiscated her mobile phone, she is temporarily incommunicado.

From NY Times (2023-07-05):

China Took Her Husband. She Was Left to Uncover His Secret Cause.

In late May, Ms. Bei was particularly upbeat. The court had abruptly indefinitely postponed its ruling on the appeal. That signaled the authorities were considering lightening the sentence, she texted me.

But in Mr. Xi’s China, leniency is rare.

Two weeks later, Ms. Bei’s Twitter account disappeared. One of her lawyers said he could not reach her; after several days, he said she was safe but could not comment further — a sign that the authorities had most likely warned her into silence. She has not spoken publicly since.

One of her last texts to me before she went quiet was about her determination to continue speaking out for Mr. Ruan.

“I feel very strong today,” she wrote. “I’ll keep working hard.”

:onion: https://www.nytimesn7cgmftshazwhfgzm37qxb44r64ytbb2dj3x62d2lljsciiyd.onion/2023/07/05/world/asia/china-dissident-blog-program-think.html
:link: After China Arrested Her Husband, A Wife Discovered His Secret Dissident Blog - The New York Times

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