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Ding Lingjie detained incommunicado

Status: 
Imprisoned
About the situation

On 28 December 2018, a Shijingshan court held a secret trial of Ding Lingjie. The defender was sentenced to 20 months' imprisonment for "picking quarrels and provoking troubles." Ding Lingjie has been held in detention since her arrest on 22 September 2017.

On 22 September human rights defender Ding Lingjie (丁灵杰) went missing from the home of a family member in Zibo City, Shandong Province. Local police have told associates of the defender that she was arrested by police of Beijing’s Shijingshan District, but Shijingshan police have refused to respond to inquiries about the defender.

About Ding Lingjie

ding_lingjie.jpegDing Lingjie is an editor for Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, an online platform documenting civil rights violations across China. In 2017, Ding Lingjie created a new social media platform entitled “Petitioner Voice” to highlight government oppression of petitioners, a highly persecuted body of Chinese citizens who travel to major cities to “petition” local issues at higher levels of government. The topics of Ding Lingjie’s written work ranges from human rights issues, such as Chinese judicial procedure, to victims of human rights abuses, including Liu Xiaobo, Liu Feiyue, and victims of China’s “709 crackdown”. Ding Lingjie is also a founder of the organization “China Human Rights Watch”, which has made repeated unsuccessful attempts to register itself with Chinese authorities.

17 January 2019
Ding Lingjie Setenced in Secret Trial

On 28 December 2018, a Shijingshan court held a secret trial of Ding Lingjie. The defender was sentenced to 20 months' imprisonment for "picking quarrels and provoking troubles." Ding Lingjie has been held in detention since her arrest on 22 September 2017.

Chinese judicial authorities frequently carry out trials and sentencing of sensitive individuals during the Christmas holiday season in attempt to limit international monitoring and coverage (see Wang Quanzhang and Zhen Jianghua). Ding Lingjie's detention and sentencing are believed to be an act of reprisal by the Chinese government for the defender's role sharing a video critical of Xi Jinping on social media.

28 September 2017
Ding Lingjie detained incommunicado

On 22 September human rights defender Ding Lingjie (丁灵杰) went missing from the home of a family member in Zibo City, Shandong Province. Local police have told associates of the defender that she was arrested by police of Beijing’s Shijingshan District, but Shijingshan police have refused to respond to inquiries about the defender.

Download the Urgent Appeal (PDF)
 

On 22 September 2017, family members who had been hosting Ding Lingjie in their home in Zibo, Shandong, returned home to find the defender and many of her belongings missing, as well as signs that the house had been searched. No arrest or search warrant was provided to the defender’s family, in violation of Chinese law. When family members contacted local authorities to report the disappearance, local police informed them that, according to their internal computer system, Ding Lingjie had been arrested by police of Beijing’s Shijingshan District. A fellow human rights defender made multiple calls to Shijingshan police seeking information about Ding Lingjie’s location and status however Shijingshan police refused to provide any information.

Ding Lingjie’s arrest coincides with preparations for the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th National Congress, a major political event in Beijing in October. Chinese authorities frequently conduct extensive detention and arrest campaigns in preparation for these meetings and several sources have reported that Ding Lingjie’s may be one such arrest.

Front Line Defenders demands that Chinese authorities inform Ding Lingjie’s family of the defender’s whereabouts and status, along with the reason for her arrest. Front Line Defenders further calls on Chinese authorities to restore Ding Lingjie’s liberty, as it believes that her arrest is solely an attempt by Chinese authorities to hinder her work raising awareness of human rights violations in China.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in China to:

1. Immediately and unconditionally release Ding Lingjie;

2. Inform Ding Lingjie’s family of her location and status, and provide all required documentation explaining the reason for her arrest;

3. Allow Ding Lingjie immediate and unfettered access to lawyers, and ensure that her treatment adheres to the conditions set out in the ‘Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment', adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988;

4. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in China are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.