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Ding Jiaxi

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Dīng Jiāxǐ | 丁家喜

Ding Jiaxi (b. 1967) is a lawyer-turned-activist. He is one of the founding members of the Citizens’ Movement in China. He has been detained since December 2019 and was not allowed to see his lawyer until January 2021. He is charged with subversion of state which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Ding Jiaxi was trained in engineering and worked as an aerospace engineer before pursuing a career in law. In 2011, he was named one of the top ten intellectual property attorneys in Beijing. He was disbarred in 2014, a common tactic employed by the Chinese government to deter rights lawyers.

Ding began civil rights advocacy in 2010, pushing for equal access to education for migrant workers’ children. In 2012, he cosigned an open letter calling on Chinese President Xi Jinping and other high-level officials to release their finances. Along with Xu Zhiyong and several other activists, Ding helped found the New Citizens’ Movement, a loose network of scholars and legal advocates promoting transparent governance and social equality.

In April 2013, Ding was detained and sentenced the following year to three and a half years in prison. He was released in 2016 before being detained again in December 2019. In January 2020, the police informed Ding’s lawyer that he was being held for “posing harm to the national security” and would not be allowed to see an attorney. In January 2021, Ding was allowed to see his lawyer. His charge was upgraded to subversion of the state. Ding's family and lawyer alleged torture by police.

Ding’s wife Luo Shengchun, currently residing in the United States, continues to advocate for her husband’s release.

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