On March 4, 2017, Sherry Chen spoke before a crowd of more than 50 at the American Chinese School of Greater Detroit, Birmingham, Michigan, which is the most prestigious Chinese school in Michigan. The audience is mostly the parents of the students at the school.
Mrs. Chen was a hydrologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) who was indicted in October 2014 by the Department of Justice for espionage, alleging she gave secrets to China. If convicted, she would face 25 years in prison and $1 million fine. Her job was suspended by Department of Commerce due to the indictment. In March 2015, all the charges were dismissed by the government, one week before trial. In defending herself, she spent life-time savings and was left with $200,000 in debt for her legal fees. Despite the fact that all charges were dropped, Mrs Chen's job at the NWS was terminated in March 2016. She is now fighting for reinstatement of her job and suing the government for racial discrimination.
Sherry Chen spoke about being interrogated by Department of Commerce agents, and later arrested by the FBI, and indicted, only to have the charges dropped. Ms. Chen was joined by Roland Hwang, attorney, president of Association of Chinese Americans, and professor at University of Michigan. Mrs Chen and Mr Hwang gave valuable remarks and suggestions on how we should protect ourselves as Chinese Americans who have friends and families in China.
At the end of the forum, several people from the audience asked questions to Mrs Chen and Mr Hwang.
After the forum was finished, a group of people stayed there continuing their discussion on the case and current events. A group photo was taken afterwards.
Many of the attendees made donations to support Sherry Chen in her fight for fairness and justice. For those who did not attend but would like to help Sherry Chen, online donation may be made at http://www.sherrychendefensefund.org. Checks may also be mailed to: Sherry Chen Legal Defense Fund, c/o Monica Yeung Arima, 1052 Bryant Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301.
A public hearing for Sherry's current civil lawsuit will be held in the U.S. Court House, Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 14-15, 2017. If you would like to show your support and join the rally, please go to this page.
Thanks go to members of the organizing committee (esp. Vice Principal Zhang Xinhui and Principal Zhang Xiangang of the Chinese school), speakers, donors, volunteers, and attendees for their effort and support. Best wishes to Sherry Chen in her fight for fairness and justice.