On August 13, 2016, Sherry Chen spoke before a crowd of more than 100 at the Chinese Community Center in Madison Heights, Michigan. Mrs. Chen is a hydrologist who was indicted by the Department of Justice for espionage, alleging she gave secrets to China, only to have the Department drop the case one week before trial in March 2015.
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. Now she is raising funds for the lawsuit to get her job back. Ms. Chen was joined by Roland Hwang, president of Association of Chinese Americans and a lawyer, Sarah Prescott, an attorney with Salvatore & Prescott and member of Michigan Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and Haipei Shue of United Chinese Americans from Washington, D.C.
Sherry Chen recounted the experience of being interrogated in her office for 7 hours. Mr. Hwang suggested that people who face questioning should have the name of an attorney available to intercede. Ms. Prescott emphasized that a person under questioning has a right to remain silent, and to seek a lawyer. Mr. Shue spoke about the drive to raise funds for Ms. Chen’s legal fight and for her reinstatement to her job. The audience was shocked by Sherry's account of her story and learned valuable advice from the speakers on how to protect themselves in the future.
Attendees made check donation: $2170, cash donation: $1000 (converted to a check by a volunteer at the end of the event), online donation: $400 (2 donors informed us that they donated online). Thus the total donation amount was $3570. All donation checks in the amount of $3170 were mailed to Sherry Chen Legal Defense Fund. The cost of organizing this event was $300.
For those who did not attend this event but would like to help Sherry Chen, online donation may be made at http://www.sherrychendefensefund.com/donate.html. Checks may also be mailed to: Sherry Chen Legal Defense Fund, c/o Monica Yeung Arima, 1052 Bryant Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301.
This event was organized by the Michigan Chinese Alliance (MCA), and co-hosted by 6 other sister organizations (in alphabetic order): Association of Chinese Americans, Chinese Association of Greater Detroit, Detroit Chinese Business Association, 80-20 Michigan Chapter, North American Association Of Chinese Engine Engineers, and North American Chinese Society of Automotive Engineers. Special note: ACA provided important support for the panel discussion and legal forum, and did not provide monetary sponsorship or fundraising for this event.
Special thanks go to members of the organizing committee, speakers, donors, volunteers, and attendees for their effort and support. Best wishes to Sherry Chen in her fight for justice.
Photos are provided by courtesy of Charles Liu.