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Nov-01-2011 16:22printcomments

State Department 'Concerned' Over Chinese Detainment of Dr. Zhicheng Hu

Explosive campaign on Change.org calling for China’s release of award-winning Chinese-American engineer Dr. Zhicheng Hu gains attention of State Department.

Dr. Zhicheng Hu

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - The U.S. State Department has expressed concern over the detention of award-winning Chinese-American engineer Dr. Zhicheng Hu in China after more than 40,000 people from around the world joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling for his release.

“We are concerned about the continued exit control on Dr. Hu, a U.S. citizen in China,” said a State Department official. “We understand that the court and prosecutor have formally withdrawn all charges against Dr Hu, and we are seeking more information regarding the legal basis under which this exit control continues.”

Dr. Hu’s 19-year-old daughter, Victoria Hu, is leading the Change.org calling for the release of her father, an award-winning Chinese-American engineer whose work focuses on automobile emission control. Hu, an inventor of 48 US, European, and world patents, was detained in November 2008 while on a business trip to Tianjin, China, after a competitor accused him of stealing technology.

In April 2010, the Tianjin City Prosecutor’s Office and Tianjin Court jointly withdrew the case against him, and Hu was freed without charge after 17 months of detention. Despite Hu’s release, Tianjin Police have continued the border control that prevents him from coming home to the United States.

“I was sixteen when we first learned of my father’s detainment,” said Victoria Hu, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “My world has changed a lot since then. My younger brother has been forced to grow up without a father for the past three years. My mother spent all of her energy trying to bring my father home and the stress has had a devastating effect on her health. We have tried many options, to no avail.”

Victoria Hu feels the State Department’s efforts are insufficient to-date, leading her to launch the campaign on Change.org.

Click to visit petition

“I appreciate what the State Department has done, but it’s simply not enough,” said Victoria Hu. “I realize that my father is just one person, but I believe that the U.S. government should make every effort possible to free American citizens when they are held hostage by foreign governments. I find it surprising that an American citizen can be detained arbitrarily in another country without charge, but I am more surprised by the inaction on the side of our government. I appreciate the State Department's concern, but I hope that it can make a vocal public statement on this matter as well.”

The campaign’s success on Change.org is likely to increase pressure on the State Department. In just a few weeks, the online petition campaign has garnered almost 50,000 signatures.

“What this Victoria Hu has accomplished thus far is remarkable,” said Meredith Slater, an organizer for Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change. “After three years of watching her mother and brother struggle without a husband and father, Victoria has taken matters into her own hands, gaining the support of tens of thousands of individuals through Change.org and capturing the attention of the U.S. State Department. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch Victoria Hu’s campaign take off.”

Live signature totals from Victoria Hu’s campaign:

http://www.change.org/petitions/help-my-father-dr-zhicheng-hu-come-home



For more information on Change.org, please visit:

http://www.change.org/about

Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.

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