Chinese Police Threatening to Sentence Father of Berlin Resident for Son’s Advocacy Efforts Overseas
Mr. Ding Yuande, father of Berlin resident Ding Lebin, was formally arrested on July 20, 2023, by the Donggang District Police Department in Rizhao City, Shandong Province. He was illegally placed in detention with his wife, Ma Ruimei, on May 12, 2023. Approximately 70 Falun Gong practitioners in Rizhao City were detained as part of a province-wide mass arrest campaign for the 24th anniversary of World Falun Dafa Day, celebrated annually on May 13.
Ding is at risk of torture and longer-term imprisonment.
His son, a 10-year resident of Berlin, is currently advocating for his release with multiple human rights organizations and European government officials on the federal, state, and local level.
International Advocacy Aids Family
The International Society for Human Rights, an NGO with UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) status and headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, sent letters requesting the release of Ding’s parents to the Chinese Ambassador to Germany, the former Chinese Foreign Minister and both provincial and city level CCP officials. Volunteers with the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) also flooded the detention center with calls to release Ding’s parents.
The international attention may have contributed to the release of Ding’s mother, Ma Ruimei, on May 24, 2023.
“International pressure can bring about change for my father,” Ding Lebin told the German edition of the Falun Dafa Information Center, “Just like it saved my mother.”
On June 14, two officers from the local Donggang Police Station visited Ma and threatened to sentence Ding Yuande, for his son Ding Lebin’s advocacy campaign in Europe. According to Ma, the CCP officials seemed afraid that their illegal persecution was attracting international attention abroad.
Gaining Traction in European Government and Media
To date, members of the European Parliament, the German Federal Parliament, and the Berlin State Assembly, as well as members of parliament in Belgium and the Czech Republic, have written to Wu Ken, the Chinese ambassador to Germany, or sent letters to those responsible within China, demanding that Ding Lebin’s father is released.
The German daily newspaper Donaukurier first published an interview with Ding Lebin back in 2019, before his parents were targeted. In 2023, multiple Czech media reported on the recent detention of his father Ding Yuande, including the current affairs magazine Forum24, the Czech local daily Deník, and independent columnist Jan Šinágl. The human rights and religious freedom magazine Bitter Winter, headquartered in Italy, also published a feature on Ding Lebin’s family rescue case in July 2023.
The German Falun Dafa Information Center has launched a postcard and letter marathon rescue campaign. You can print out the rescue postcard or letter, sign it, and send it to the Chinese ambassador to Germany or to the new Municipal Party Secretary of Rizhao City, Li Zaiwu, with the QR code below.
“Every protest letter will not only help release my parents, but also contribute to ending the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in China,” according to Ding Lebin. “The Chinese Communist Party is afraid of that more people abroad will know the true situation of Falun Gong practitioners in China.”
Initial Arrest and Further Case Details
Between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. on May 12, 2023, more than ten law enforcement agents stormed the tea plantation owned by Ding Yuande and Ma Ruimei. The squad was directed by Xia Jingde, the Chinese Communist Party secretary of Yanjiazhuang Village, in Rizhao City, Shandong Province.
The police ransacked their home until approximately 10:00 a.m., confiscating most of the couple’s Falun Gong books. “My parents were arrested, then silence,” Ding said in an interview with Bitter Winter. “Nobody knew where they were being detained.”
Ma Ruimei was released on May 24 from the Tao Luo Police Station of Rizhao City. On June 13, Ding Yuande was transferred from the police station to the Rizhao City Detention Center. As of August 17, 2023, Ding Yuande remains in detention at Rizhao City Detention Center.
Send a letter requesting for Ding Yuande’s release to Director Li Gang of the Rizhao City Police at the address below, available in Chinese and English:
Mr. Li Gang
Police Station Rizhao
Wu Lian Lu No. 339
276800 Rizhao City, Shandong