Urgent Action Update: Lawyer Continues to be Held Incommunicado (China: UA 20.20)

December 9, 2020

Former human rights lawyer Ding Jiaxi, who has been detained for more than one year under the charge of “inciting subversion of state power”, continues to be held incommunicado. The investigation period has now extended to 19 January 2021 after a third extension of the investigation period. Ding was taken away by police on 26 December 2019 after joining a social gathering in Xiamen. He has had no access to his family and lawyers of his choice and remains at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.



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Director Li Dengquan
Linyi Shi Public Security Bureau
7 Shanghai Lu, Lanshan Qu
Linyi Shi, Shandong Sheng
People’s Republic of China
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]
Twitter: @ChineseEmbinUS
Salutation: Dear Ambassador


Dear Director Li,

I am writing to express my concern that former human rights lawyer Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜) has been held incommunicado for more than one year since being taken away by the police on 26 December 2019. I find it worrying that this case has again been granted an extension of the investigation period (延长侦查期) to 19 January 2021.

Held in Linyi County Detention Center, Ding Jiaxi 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 by joining an informal social gathering in Xiamen on 26 December 2019.

The arrest of Ding Jiaxi 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 similarly detained and held incommunicado after joining the Xiamen meeting. The experts said they 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 in custody without any way for his family and lawyer to check his physical and mental wellbeing. Given the limited safeguards protecting those held incommunicado, I am very worried that Ding is at imminent risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

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,