A woman who told the ruling Chinese Communist Party secretary of Wuhan to “get out of Wuhan” was held for two-and-a-half months in criminal detention before being released on bail and ordered to attend political re-education classes.
Ding Wenting was detained and placed under administrative detention after sending out a social media post on Feb. 14 that read: “To [Wuhan party secretary] Chen Yixin: Get out of Wuhan!”
A police announcement at the time said she had “posted words that were insulting to another person, because of her personal dissatisfaction.”
Her actions had led to “undesirable consequences,” it said.
Ding, 32, made the comment while criticizing a slew of recent major infrastructure projects in Wuhan, and also directed her comments at the developers.
She was detained immediately under a 10-day administrative sentence that can be handed down to police to perceived “troublemakers” without the need for a trial.
She wasn’t released at the end of the 10-day sentence, however, but was held for another two months under criminal detention.
Ding was finally released “on bail, to write an ideological report” on Monday, but remains incommunicado and under police surveillance, a source close to Ding told RFA.
She is forbidden to contact certain people specified by police or risk being redetained, the source said.
“I think this is a case of a speech crime,” a friend of Ding’s told RFA. “I think she was already a key target for surveillance because she had posted a few things that were critical of the government before.”
“She was detained for a single phrase: ‘Chen Yixin: Get out of Wuhan!’” the friend said.
Chen has since left Wuhan for a job in Beijing.
Ding’s father said his daughter is in reasonable mental and physical health.
“She has to write that ideological report today; she has to report back on wherever she goes to the police,” he said. “I don’t know what to tell you about her criminal detention, because I don’t know what crime she is supposed to have committed.”
He added: “They called me down to the police station to tell me I should cooperate with them.”
Ding’s father said the authorities had initially been reluctant to let him see the official notification of his daughter’s criminal detention.
“They didn’t want to give it to me in case I put it online,” he said. “All I want is for them to proceed according to the law.”
Ding said police have installed two new surveillance cameras across the street from his shop.
“I run a small store, and they have installed two new cameras; this didn’t happen until the situation with [my daughter],” he said. “One is attached to a roadside tree, and there’s another on the gates of the army compound.”
An officer who answered the phone at the Liangdao Street police station in Wuhan declined to comment on Ding’s case.
“We don’t discuss cases over the phone,” the officer said. “This police station doesn’t deal directly with the media; we would have to get the approval of the political department at branch level for that to happen.”
Reported by Wong Siu-san and Yeung Mak for RFA's Cantonese Service, and by Gao Feng for the Mandarin Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.