US lawmakers, rights groups: Chinese-American detained over race

World Today

CCTV/Washington

Advocates for a 59 year old Chinese-American woman are urging that the U.S. Attorney General look into whether she, an American citizen, was targeted, profiled, detained and accused of espionage, because of her race and because she was born in China.

Chinese-American Sherry Chen, 59, was detained in the U.S. last year after prosecutors there accused Chen, an employee of the U.S. National Weather Service, of passing on information about the U.S. nefariously. Chen is said to have obtained log-in details for a server with alleged sensitive information. She was accused by prosecutors of then passing information from that server on to a contact in China. Chen’s attorney and rights groups argue that the information was already public and that her co-workers and bosses knew of the contact in China with which Chen was communicating.

CCTV’s Roee Ruttenberg was at a press conference in Washington today where various representatives of the US government and Asian-American rights groups urged more investigation into Sherry Chen’s situation.

US lawmakers, rights groups: Chinese-American detained over race

US lawmakers, rights groups: Chinese-American detained over race

Chinese-America Sherry Chen was detained by the US after she was accused of espionage for sending documents accessed while at her job at the National Weather Service to a contact in China. Advocates and her attorny say she did nothing wrong and was targeted because of her race and because she was born in China.

CCTV contacted the U.S. Justice Department, but they declined to give a response.
The letter below, signed by members of Congress, was organized by Congressman Ted W. Lieu of California and addressed to US Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.

Today in Washington, Haipei Shue of the National Council of Chinese Americans (NCAA) and Peter Zeidenberg, Attorney for Sherry Chen led a group of representatives of various Asian-American rights groups to show support for Sherry Chen. They were joined by members of the U.S. Congress led by Ted Lieu, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congressman Mike Honda and Congresswoman Grace Meng on behalf of U.S. lawmakers, in support of Sherry Chen.

Story adapted for the web by Roee Ruttenberg and CCTV Digital’s Douglas Jones


Background:

  • A local TV report from the US state of Ohio where Sherry Chen is from filed this report in 2014 after Chen was initially accused.