Human rights lawyer Ding Jiaxi is the husband of Sophie Luo, a long-time member of our church who lives and works in the US. Jiaxi remained in China to pursue his peaceful work for increased human rights.
On April 10, 2023 Jiaxi received a 12-year prison sentence for “subversion of state power.” The sentencing came nearly a year after Mr. Ding and fellow lawyer Xu Zhiyong, who received a 14-year sentence, were tried separately behind closed doors by a court in Shandong on the grounds that their cases “involved state secrets.” Both pleaded not guilty to the subversion charges.
Mr. Ding was first taken into custody by the Chinese police on December 26, 2019 while attending a peaceful and legal dinner party. He was held for over a year in an undisclosed location without access to legal representation, and subjected to torture. In January of 2021, Jiaxi was finally allowed to talk with his lawyer. China Change reported the contents of that meeting in which Jiaxi describes the horror of that year: Prominent Human Rights Activist Ding Jiaxi Tells Lawyer Details of Torture Throughout His Year in Custody
China is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Ding Jiaxi’s arrest and treatment violates the rights afforded to citizens in that document.
On February 1, 2023 The US Department of State announced that Ding Jiaxi is a winner of the Global Human Rights Defender Award. Protecting and supporting human rights defenders remains a key U.S. foreign policy priority as they are integral to democracy, access to justice, a vibrant civil society, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability.
What you can do:
Support Amnesty International’s work of advocacy for Jiaxi and keep Jiaxi and his family in your prayers.
On April 6, 2022 Sophie Luo was part of a panel at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in Geneva Switzerland where she spoke of the plight of Jiaxi. See a video of her talk. Sophie is the second speaker.
Watch a video of Sophie’s testimony in Washington, DC before the Congressional Executive Commission on China on Feb 3, 2022
Watch Sophie’s Youtube appeal