Posted 2004/7/6

Human Rights Defender, Ding Zilin, under house arrest in China

May 2004

Front Line is concerned by reports received from Human Rights in China (HRIC) that human rights defender Ding Zilin, who is under house arrest has been notified by the Chinese authorities that “Under the present regime there will be no resolution of the June 4th question”

Ding Zilin, is the leader of the Tiananmen Mothers, a group of family members of people killed or injured in June 1989. Ding Zilin was arrested in her home May 2004. Front Line fears that Ding Zilin and her family may have been put under effective house arrest due to her leadership of the June 4th Memorial Global Coalition, which has been planning memorial activities for the 15th anniversary of June 4th all over the world.

The Tiananmen Mothers Appeal is comprised of family members of those who were killed or injured in June 1989, when the Chinese authorities sent armed troops into Beijing to suppress a peaceful two-month long movement calling for democratic reform and an end to official corruption. Over the past 15 years, the Tiananmen Mothers have documented the fates of 182 people killed during the crackdown in Beijing, and have demanded a dialogue with the government, but without receiving any response up to the present.

According to information received by Front Line, on May 24 a senior official personally visit Ding Zilin and her husband, Jiang Peijun, in their home and informed them that a resolution of the June 4th issue was out of the question. Following this visit, it has been reported that no one has been allowed to enter Ding and Jiang’s home, not even a workman who was supposed to repair one of their windows. Further reports received by Front Line allege that the couple has not been allowed to leave home except for the purchase of basic necessities, and on trips to the supermarket Ding has been reportedly accompanied by a group of civilian clothed police minders.

Front Line is also concerned by reports concerning the fact that the police recently informed Ding Zilin that they had opened a case file on her, raising the possibility that Ding and others might be arrested in the build up to June 4th. Front Line is deeply concerned by this act of harassment and intimidation against Ding Zilin and her husband which contravenes the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN general Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular its article 12.2 which provides that “[t]he State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”