The United States condemns the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) unjust detention and sentencing of human rights defenders Xu Zhiyong and Ding Jiaxi. On April 10, PRC courts sentenced Xu Zhiyong to 14 years and Ding Jiaxi to 12 years in prison for supporting the exercise of internationally recognized fundamental freedoms, such as the freedoms of assembly and expression. These sentences demonstrate the PRC’s expansive effort to intimidate and silence all aspects of civil society.
We urge the PRC to immediately and unconditionally release these two unjustly detained human rights defenders and to cease any harassment of their family members. We similarly call upon the PRC to release others who were unjustly detained or imprisoned, to reinstate the lawyers who were unjustly disbarred, and to allow all individuals to exercise their fundamental freedoms.
The United States will always stand with the brave individuals in the PRC and around the world who defend human rights.