Asian American Civil Rights Group Denounces U.S. Government’s Decision to Retry University of Tennessee Professor Unjustly Prosecuted Under the “China Initiative”

Today, the U.S. Government announced their decision to retry the case against UT Engineering Professor Anming Hu despite the first trial resulting in a mistrial
For Immediate Release
Vivin Qiang 202-780-9327

Knoxville, TN - Today, the U.S. Government announced their decision to retry the case against University of Tennessee (UT) Engineering Professor Anming Hu despite the first trial resulting in a mistrial after serious concerns of FBI misconduct left the jury deadlocked. Dr. Hu’s case was the first to go to trial under the controversial “China Initiative.” Earlier this month, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC sent a letter to Acting U.S. Attorney Hamilton urging the government to drop the case. The letter provided background on the damaging impacts of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “China Initiative” on the Asian American community and explained how many of the cases being prosecuted, including Dr. Hu's, are unjust racial scapegoating of Asian Americans and immigrants. 

John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, issues the following statement:

“Today is a sad day for Dr. Hu and our community. For over a year, Professor Hu has been detained in his home and separated from his family. He has lost years of his life, his job, his immigration status, his ability to obtain future federal grants and possibly his career. Still, Professor Hu and his family did not give up hope that this grave injustice would end.” 

“What the federal government has done today is confirm an utter disregard for justice and our democracy. This trial has exposed the deeply problematic investigations, surveillance, and prosecutions of Asian Americans and Asian immigrants. Advancing Justice | AAJC and many others -- including elected officials -- have expressed deep concern about the FBI’s conduct during the course of its investigation of Professor Hu. Based on the FBI agent’s own witness testimony, the FBI initiated an economic espionage investigation against Professor Hu based on a false premise, and they failed to find any evidence of economic espionage or any other criminal activity after a year and a half of investigation. Rather than dropping the case upon finding no evidence of economic espionage, the FBI sought to charge Professor Hu with wire fraud based on an alleged willful failure to disclose despite Professor Hu following his university’s policy. 

“We believe in Professor Hu’s innocence and will continue to support efforts that we hope will lead to his eventual acquittal. What happened to Professor Hu and his family is not an isolated event and is part of systemic racial bias, discrimination, and profiling by our federal government against scientists and researchers of Asian descent across the country. 

“We must work vigilantly to fight for justice on behalf of Professor Hu and his family. The Trump-era “China Initiative” that is wreaking havoc on the lives of so many people must end. We need to stop the racial profiling and criminalization of our Asian American and immigrant communities.”