Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Chinese Exile in Germany Strives for International Support to Release His Father

Now living in Berlin, Ding Lebin's parents, Ding Yuande and Ma Ruimei, were illegally incarcerated in eastern China this May for practicing Falun Gong
Victor Westerkamp
Victor resides in the Netherlands and writes about freedom and governmental and social changes to the democratic form of nations.
Published: October 24, 2023
Lebin Ding addresses the German government and the assembled press at a Falun Gong manifestation on June 1 in Berlin, Germany. At that moment, both his parents were missing after they were illegally detained because they practice Falun Gong on May 12 in Shandong Province by Chinse authorities. Meanwhile, Ding's mother has been released on probation and is under house arrest, but his father is still behind bars. (Image: Video still/X)

A Chinese exile living in Berlin hopes to raise awareness about the unlawful arrest of his parents earlier this year in China for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual faith persecuted by the communist regime. 

Ding Yuande and his wife, Ma Ruimei, were forcibly abducted from their tea-growing field in Shandong Province in the early morning of May 12, 2023. According to their son, Ding Lebin, about a dozen police officers had “disguised themselves in plainclothes” to illegally detain his parents. 

The two were detained as part of a large-scale wave of arrests in the province in May. Seventy people were said to have been arrested in these mass actions in the Dings’ city of Rizhao alone.

Whether Uyghurs, Tibetans, Christians, or Falun Gong practitioners, they all suffer from the atheist regime’s reprisals against people of faith. As a result, Ding’s parents also found themselves in the crosshairs of the Chinese Communist Party. 

“Sensitive” dates such as May 13, which is celebrated as Falun Dafa Day by adherents, and July 20 — the day when the CCP’s persecution began in 1999 — 

Their only “crime” is practicing Falun Gong and talking to fellow human beings about their situation and what is happening in China’s camps and prisons.

International support

Ding’s calls for awareness have received responses of support from lawmakers in Europe and Japan. 

Due to international pressure and the notoriety of the case, Ma Ruimei was released to supervised house arrest after 12 days. Though no longer in jail, she is subject to surveillance and harassment. As she leaves the village, she is followed by the village party secretary or one of his men. 

But her husband, Yuande, is still incarcerated. With letters to the Chinese ambassadors in Berlin, members of the European, German, Belgian, and Czech parliaments supported the release of the elder Ding.

His son told the Falun Dafa Information Center, “The Chinese Communist Party is afraid that more people abroad will learn the true situation of Falun Gong practitioners in China.” The Berliner added that every letter of protest will contribute to his parents’ release and help end the persecution.


According to Falun Gong websites, in September, the former speaker of the Slovak parliament, František Mikloško, and the parliamentary secretary of the AfD’s Berlin executive committee, Ronald Gläser, sent letters of protest to the party secretary of the city of Rizhao, where Ding is being held.

In both letters, the politicians stressed that the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong violates fundamental human rights enshrined in the People’s Republic of China’s constitution. They demanded that “Mr. Yuande Ding be released immediately and unconditionally, end the persecution of the Chinese couple, and issue them with travel documents to accompany their son in Germany.”

Ding Lebin also received support from Japan. Several municipal councilors from different cities in Japan signed an English-language letter of protest sent to the Chinese ambassadors in Tokyo and Berlin. 

Politicians call for protecting the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners and other religious and ethnic minorities persecuted in China, the immediate release of those detained in concentration camps and other institutions, and a complete halt to state-organized organ harvesting.

No answer from Scholz, Baerbock

Ding’s case has yet to receive a response from the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament. 

In mid-June, The Epoch Times reported on Ding Lebin’s letter of entreaty to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on the occasion of Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s state visit to Berlin. At the time of reporting, Scholz has not responded. 

Also, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center, a corresponding letter from the International Society for Human Rights in Frankfurt to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has yet to be answered.

The campaign for Ding Yuande’s release continues. His son urges anyone who wants to help to print out an SOS postcard or a letter of protest, sign it, and send it to the Chinese ambassador in Berlin or the party secretary of Rizhao City in Shandong. China. Interested parties can find further information via the QR codes on the protest postcard attached here.

Lebin Ding from Berlin asks for help to save his parents in China.
(Photo: Lebin Ding)