ACLU joins suit by Chi­nese sci­en­tist vs. US

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By PAUL WELITZKIN in New York paulwelitzkin@chi­nadai­lyusa. com

One of Amer­ica’s best known civil rights or­ga­ni­za­tions has joined a law­suit filed by a Chi­nese-Amer­i­can pro­fes­sor who is su­ing the US gov­ern­ment over its dis­missed pros­e­cu­tion of him for al­legedly shar­ing sen­si­tive tech­nol­ogy with sci­en­tists in China.

The Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union (ACLU) and the law firm Kairys, Ru­dovsky, Mess­ing, Fein­berg & Lin LLP filed an amended com­plaint on Tues­day in fed­eral District Court in Philadel­phia to the law­suit filed by Tem­ple Univer­sity pro­fes­sor Xi Xiaox­ing.

The com­plaint chal­lenges the gov­ern­ment’s ar­rest and sur­veil­lance meth­ods as well as its al­leged dis­crim­i­na­tory tar­get­ing of Chi­nese-Amer­i­can sci­en­tists like Xi.

“Hav­ing the ACLU in­volve­ment is quite use­ful and es­pe­cially on the elec­tronic sur­veil­lance claims,” wrote David Ru­dovsky, Xi’s at­tor­ney, in an email.

Xi’s law­suit was filed ear­lier this year claimed that an FBI agent in­volved fal­si­fied ev­i­dence and ig­nored warn­ings that he was in­no­cent. In May 2015, FBI agents went into Xi’s house with guns drawn and led him away in hand­cuffs in front of his wife and daugh­ters. The gov­ern­ment ac­cused Xi of shar­ing in­for­ma­tion about a su­per­con­duc­tor de­vice known as a “pocket heater,” re­ly­ing on email ex­changes be­tween Xi and sci­en­tific col­leagues in China.

Later in 2015, the charges against Xi were dropped upon the pros­e­cu­tion’s dis­cov­ery that the emails he sent to China were un­re­lated to the pocket heater and were part of or­di­nary aca­demic col­lab­o­ra­tion.

As a re­sult of the charges, Xi was placed on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave, sus­pended from his po­si­tion as the in­terim chair of the Tem­ple physics depart­ment, de­nied ac­cess to his lab and the grad­u­ate stu­dents work­ing un­der his su­per­vi­sion, and had to pay sub­stan­tial le­gal fees to de­fend him­self.

The ACLU said Xi’s case was one of three es­pi­onagere­lated pros­e­cu­tions of Chi­nese-Amer­i­can sci­en­tists in a 10-month pe­riod in which the gov­ern­ment aban­doned the case be­fore trial. The oth­ers in­clude the dis­missal of charges against Sherry Chen, a hy­drol­o­gist with the US National Weather Ser­vice in Ohio in 2015, and Guo­qing Cao and Shuyu Li, se­nior bi­ol­o­gists at Eli Lilly & Co in 2014.

AN­DREW KELLY / REUTERS

Peo­ple gather in Fo­ley Square dur­ing a vigil for the vic­tims of the West Side High­way pickup truck at­tack in New York on Wed­nes­day.

Xi Xiaox­ing

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