VOA Article: Human Rights Lawyer Pays Painful Price for Standing Up to Xi’s China

After years apart from his family, a Chinese lawyer put aside his high-stakes work and flew to America for a reunion with his wife and two daughters.

Ding Jiaxi, formerly a successful corporate attorney, was now practicing a perilous vocation: human rights law in China. It was the fall of 2017. A year earlier, Ding had been released after serving three and a half years in prison for his rights activism. He had only now managed to join his family, who’d taken refuge in Alfred, a leafy town of clapboard homes in western New York, where some locals don’t bother to lock their doors.

His wife, engineer Sophie Luo Shengchun, begged him to stay. But he went back to China after two months. “I knew it was no use,” Luo said in an interview on the verandah of her small house.

Ding found his calling irresistible. As a lead member of a band of legal activists, he was waging a longshot battle for justice in Chinese courts, always under police surveillance, rarely staying long at any one place. “In China, you need to be on the ground,” Luo said Ding told her. “You need people to know that you will be there to go through difficulties with them.”

Two years later, he was back behind bars – where, Luo says, he was tortured and denied access to a lawyer for more than a year.

Read full article at    https://www.voanews.com/a/human-rights-lawyer-pays-painful-price-for-standing-up-to-xi-s-china/6758810.html