Urgent Action Update: Lawyer Charged for Inciting Subversion (China: UA 20.20)

July 6, 2020

Former human rights lawyer Ding Jiaxi, who has been held incommunicado for more than six months, has been formally arrested for “inciting subversion of state power”. Along with many human rights defenders, Ding was taken away by police on 26 December 2019 after joining a social gathering in Xiamen. Held in secret detention, Ding has had no access to his family and lawyers of his choice and is at imminent risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

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Director Li Dengquan
c/o Ambassador Cui Tiankai
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
3505 International Place NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 495 2266 I Fax: 202 495 2138
Email: [email protected] [email protected]

Dear Director Li,

I am writing to express my concern about former human rights lawyer Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜) who has been charged with ‘inciting subversion of state power’ (煽动颠覆国家政权罪) for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of association. Held incommunicado for more than six months, he has had no access to his family and lawyers of his choice.

Ding Jiaxi, along with many human rights defenders, has been detained since being taken away by police on 26 December 2019 after joining an informal social gathering in Xiamen. While others who attended the same meeting were released on bail in late June, Ding was formally arrested on 19 June.

The arrest of Ding Jiaxi, as well as the detention of Ding and other human rights defenders who joined the Xiamen meeting, contravenes international human rights laws and standards, including the rights to liberty and to freedom of association. On 23 March 2020, United Nations human rights experts expressed their grave concerns for Ding Jiaxi and two other human rights defenders who had been forcibly disappeared after joining the Xiamen meeting. The experts were dismayed that the Chinese government continues to use national security provisions to target human rights defenders.

It is distressing to learn that Ding Jiaxi continues to be held incommunicado, with no way for his family and lawyer to check his physical and mental wellbeing. I call on you to release Ding Jiaxi immediately and unconditionally unless there is sufficient credible and admissible evidence that he has committed an internationally recognized offense and is granted a fair trial in line with international standards; pending his release, ensure that Ding Jiaxi has regular, unrestricted access to family and lawyers of his choice and is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment; and stop harassing and arresting other human rights defenders who peacefully exercise their right to freedom of association and other human rights.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES