2020 was a devastating year to all of us. For Anming and I, including our three children especially, the hardships we faced in the past 15 months was just not limited to the pandemic. Anming was arrested on Feb 27, 2020 due to “China ties”, similar to the prominent case that occurred recently at MIT, and a few more others.
Support Anming Hu’s legal defense
Anming was a tenured associate professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) who has dreamed to pursue science since growing up in a rural China village. Through overcoming many obstacles and obtaining two PhD’s, he was able to start a career in mechanical engineering and pursue his American dream. But now he has lost everything after he was arrested due to vague laws concerning NASA China restriction and “conflicts of interests form”. He is being accused of hiding his "China tie", which in fact he reported to UT K in many other ways. He is being accused of “grant fraud”, but in fact the grant was used by UTK for its Ph.D student's research project. Not only did he not pursue his personal interest when applying to these NASA funds ($110,000 in total) but also he selflessly contributed his vacation time as the matching fund.
After he was arrested, UTK immediately suspended his position, stopped his payment and further terminated his tenured position while he is still fighting for his innocence. My son had to withdraw from UTK due to financial difficulties.
We have since tried to finance the litigation by our own measures, as well as through fund raising, borrowing money from relatives and close friends. The local community at Knoxville especially have been a blessing within these difficult times. I have also worked extremely hard to keep my own job in Canada so the family can survive. But with my limited income in Canada supporting the family with three children, I have huge difficulty in paying for the legal charges for now and the future. We humbly ask for your support, no matter how small, in our continued fight against this injustice.
We promise that all your kind donations will be only used for the legal defense for Anming Hu.
Reasons to help:
The government started the investigation of Anming under the “China Initiative” for economic espionage and suspected he is a member of the “1000 talented project (TTP).”
Anming is not a member of TTP. After almost two years’ surveillance the government found nothing about spying. He is not being charged for economic espionage. He is charged with federal crimes on the basis of failing to disclose his affiliation with a Chinese university (Beijing University of Technology, BJUT) on a university form to UTK, even though he has disclosed this affiliation to UTK through annual reports, inviting visiting students and the published work. As a guest professor in Beijing University of Technology (BJUT) he used his vacation time (less than 2 months in a year) to do the open and collaborative scientific work. His faculty position with UTK is based on 9 months term. He does not have a conflict of interest according to UTK 's faculty policies. As said by his attorney, Mr. Phil Lomonaco, “Dr. Hu is not a Chinese spy , he is innocent and he did not intend to defraud anyone”.
Anming's case is one of the many unjust cases under the " China Initiative", which in practice has heavily scrutinized, harmed and created enormous fear for scientists, researchers, and scholars of Chinese and Asian descent across the country. The "China Initiative" allegedly aims to combat economic espionage, but in reality has singled out scientists and researchers of Asian and Chinese descent based on the misguided perception that their ethnicity, race or ancestry make them prone to espionage, leading to racial profiling.
The prosecution has destroyed Anming's career and left him and our family's lives in shambles. Anming's health is further deteriorated, but Anming is determined to fight against this injustice for himself and all the other victims. June 7 2021 is the trial date for Anming's case. This is the first case to go to trial under the "China Initiative". Its outcome may set a precedent for future cases.
We as a family is firmly standing behind Anming with your generous and kind support!
The prosecution of Anming is also closely linked to other cases reported in Boston (Profs.Gang Chen , Charlies Liber), Kansas (Prof. Feng Tao ), Arkansas (Prof. Sizong Hong) and Texas (Prof. Zhengdong Cheng), and may potentially influence other Chinese-born professionals and immigrants due to their own international ties.
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