Asian American Scholar Forum Calls for Justice for Dr. Xiaoxing Xi Ahead of Third Circuit Oral Arguments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2022

Media Contact: 
Mary Tablante, Asian American Scholar Forum, media@aasforum.org

Philadelphia, PA–This morning, oral arguments will be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit for Dr. Xiaoxing Xi, a physics professor at Temple University and an internationally recognized expert in superconducting technology, after a federal court in Pennsylvania in April 2021 dismissed claims brought by Dr. Xi and his family against the U.S. government and the FBI agent involved in wrongly investigating and prosecuting him.

In 2015, Dr. Xi was indicted on false allegations for sharing sensitive technology with scientists in China. After being arrested by the FBI at his home, where his wife and daughters were detained at gunpoint by armed agents, Professor Xi faced hours of interrogation and intrusive bodily searches, and was suspended as interim chair of the physics department. The government also searched and seized Professor Xi’s and his family’s private communications and personal property. The government later dismissed the indictment after finding the accusations against him were baseless.

Asian American Scholar Forum issues the following statement:

“The government violated our constitutional rights in its wrongful prosecution against me, and we are fighting to hold it accountable for it,” said Dr. Xiaoxing Xi. “This oral argument is about at least getting a chance to do so. When law enforcement officials face no consequence for falsely charging scientists of Chinese descent with crimes, our entire community is deeply traumatized. We must stop it.”

“Dr. Xi’s case is a glaring example of an innocent American’s right to privacy being grossly violated, with disastrous consequences for Professor Xi and his family, and seven years later, we are still demanding answers from the U.S. government,“ said Yasheng Huang, President of the Asian American Scholar Forum. “The chilling effect on academic collaboration and freedom of expression, both of which have long been protected under the First Amendment is clear. We are asking for the government to be held accountable and prevent future harm to the Asian American, immigrant, and scientific community.”

“Today is a culmination of years of effort and fighting for justice from Xiaoxing and his family. It has been as far back as 2015 since the FBI subjected Xiaoxing and his family to unjust prosecution,” said Kai Li, Vice President of Asian American Scholar Forum. “They are still dealing with the trauma of this ordeal. Years later, the FBI or the government still hasn’t provided any explanation or recourse for the devastation it caused. Across the country, we see the harm to many Asian Americans and immigrants, particularly within the Chinese American community. We are here to ask for justice, accountability, and a rebuilding of trust in the American system and values.”

At the end of this month, AASF will be releasing data on the full scope of harm that federal government action has had not just on the Asian American and immigrant community, but on the country as a whole as we drive away talent and fail to live up to our American values. 

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Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) promotes academic belonging, openness, freedom, and equality for all and represents more than 7,000 scientists, researchers, and scholars in the U.S.. In response to heightened anti-Asian sentiments in the U.S. and increasing profiling of Chinese Americans and immigrants in science, AASF has been a leading national voice fighting for the rights of Asian American and immigrant scientists, researchers, and scholars.

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