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Statement on the 1226 Crackdown

At the end of 2019, the Chinese authorities seemed to have targeted citizen activists and human rights lawyers who attended a private gathering in Xiamen in early December, and started a large-scale crackdown in multiple provinces. The participants discussed current affairs and the future of China, in addition to sharing their experiences in helping build the Chinese civil society - yet they have been accused of subverting state power. This crackdown has been led by the Shandong Province police department, which set up a 13 December Special Task Force for this purpose. After Christmas, more than 20 citizen activists and human rights lawyers have been arrested, summoned, and went incommunicado.


The crackdown resulted in multiple individuals being accused of subverting state power, inciting subversion of state power, and “picking quarrels and provoking troubles”. There are currently 5 lawyers and citizens still being detained, including Ding Jiaxi, Dai Zhenya, Zhang Zhongshun and Li Yingjun. Four of them have been confirmed to be under residential surveillance at a designated location RSDL, and all five of them have not been permitted to meet with their lawyers.


Details of the five individuals are as follows


  • Lawyer Ding Jiaxi was taken away by the Shandong police on 26th December. He is accused of inciting subversion of state power, and is currently under RSDL
  • Citizen Zhang Zhongshun was taken away by the Shandong police on 26th December. He is accused of inciting subversion of state power, and is currently under RSDL. The police allegedly found 245 bullets in an apartment that Zhang Zhongshun has leased, while Zhang’s family said that Zhang was being framed by the police
  • Citizen Dai Zhenya was taken away by the Shandong police on 26th December. He is accused of inciting subversion of state power, and is currently under RSDL
  • Citizen Li Yingjun was taken away by the Shandong police on 26th December
  • Lawyer Chang Weiping was taken away by the Gaoxin District Branch of the Xi'an Municipal Public Security Bureau from his home on 12th January. His wife was informed verbally by a state security agent (guobao) from Gaoxin District Branch of Baoji Public Security Bureau that Chang is accused of subversion of state power, and is now under RSDL


China hosted the Global Lawyers Forum in early December, and yet continued to arbitrarily arrest human rights defenders, and to use RSDL as a means to detain individuals at will. RSDL is just another form of secret detention. As such, the state explained that since those under RSDL threaten state security, they should not be allowed to see their lawyers and families, and their addresses are kept a secret. However, this makes detainees extremely vulnerable to abuse of power by the authorities, and victims of RSDL have often gone under torture, including lawyers targeted during the 709 Crackdown.


Additionally, the founder of the New Citizens’ Movement Dr. Xu Zhiyong and advocate of non-violent civil disobedience movement Lawyer Tang Jingling fear arrest and are currently on the run. Xu’s girlfriend has been summoned by the police and questioned for 24 hours for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles”.


The International Declaration of Human Rights and the ICCPR both clearly state the requirements for procedural justice. As a member of the UN Human Rights Council, and a signatory to the ICCPR, China needs to respect procedural justice and the international definition of the rule of law, making sure that all those arrested retain their legal rights, and are judged based on objective facts and with strong legal justification.


We also strongly condemn China for carrying out arbitrary arrests and seriously violating procedural justice. China will not be able to pacify the country by continually cracking down on her civil society: condemnation from the international community will only increase, and the roar of democracy and freedom will only get louder following the elections in Hong Kong and Taiwan.


We, therefore, ask:

  • That Chinese authorities immediately stop imposing arbitrary arrests and detentions on human rights lawyers and citizen activists;
  • That Chinese authorities immediately abolish the use of RSDL, guarantee the legal rights of all detainees, including their rights to meet with their self-chosen lawyers and families;
  • That the Chinese authorities immediately release all human rights defenders who have been illegally arrested and detained;
  • That the Chinese authorities Immediately stop all forms of harassment targeting the families of detainees;
  • That the Chinese authorities carry out their legal duties and respect the standard for rule of law which has been established through international consensus, and to strictly adhere to all regulations and procedures listed out in the Criminal Procedure Law of the PRC
  • That the international community continue to monitor the violation of human rights in China, and to support the Chinese civil society in exercising their freedom of speech










國際特赦組織台灣分會 Amnesty International Taiwan

中國維權律師關注組 China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group

基督徒社工 Christian Social Workers

人權公約施行監督聯盟 Covenants Watch

香港眾志 Demosisto

陳文成博士紀念基金會 Dr. Chen Wen-Chen Memorial Foundation

環境法律人協會 Environmental Jurists Association

香港市民支援愛國民主運動聯合會 Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China

台北律師公會人權委員會 Human Rights Committee of the Taipei Bar Association

民間司法改革基金會 Judicial Reform Foundation

香港天主教正義和平委員會 Justice and Peace Commission of the HK Catholic Diocese

勞工教育及服務網絡 Labour Education and Service Network

社會民主連線 League of Social Democrats

公民黨郭家麒議員辦事處 Office of the Hon. Dennis Kwok of the Civic Party

法政匯思 Progressive Lawyers Group

台灣人權促進會 Taiwan Association for Human Rights

台灣公民參與協會 Taiwan Citizen Participation Association

台灣東突厥斯坦協會 Taiwan East Turkistan Association

台灣圖博之友會 Taiwan Friends of Tibet

台灣青年基金會 Taiwan Youth Foundation

台灣蠻野心足生態協會 Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, Taiwan