A terrible scenario: The police arrest your spouse and locks them up in prison without any contact with the outside world – all because they are a lawyer who handled politically sensitive cases. This is what happened to our interviewee Luo Shengchun. She was in the US when her husband Ding Jiaxi fell into the clutches of China’s arbitrary justice system for the second time three years ago. She is now campaigning not only for his release, but also for a different approach to dictatorships in general.
China’s economic policy is again flipping several switches to rev up the growth engine. The badly battered real estate sector is receiving fresh loans and even explicit support. This is a complete change of direction: Two and a half years ago, the government was still drained the sector dry to make credit risks manageable again. But the weak economy leaves no choice: Nothing stimulates China’s growth as much as booming house development.
Your Finn Mayer-Kuckuk
‘People disappear under force’
Luo Shengchun’s husband, the well-known human rights lawyer Ding Jiaxi, was arrested and tortured at the end of 2019. Since then, she has been campaigning for his release. He faces a life sentence. Western governments can do more to counter dictators like Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, says Luo in conversation with Marcel Grzanna.
Your husband, human rights lawyer Ding Jiaxi, was arrested and detained in China in December 2019. He is accused of “undermining the authority of the state.” Do you know his current whereabouts and under what conditions he is being held?
Jiaxi is in Lin Shu Prison in Shandong Province. He lives in a small cell with about 18 people. The prison conditions are terrible, there is no basic hygiene, no hot water, no books or newspapers. The food is poor and of little nutritional value. Prisoners are only allowed in the yard for half an hour a day. There are also no pens or paper to write anything down.
Do you have the possibility to get in touch with him, for example through a lawyer?
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