Asian American Scholar Forum Applauds Dismissal of Appeal In Favor of Dr. Franklin Tao

Dec. 6, 2022

Media Contact: 
Mary Tablante, Asian American Scholar Forum,

Washington, D.C.— The Department of Justice dismissed their appeal of three counts of wire fraud entered in favor of Dr. Feng “Franklin” Tao. Professor Tao was charged by the federal government under the now-defunct “China Initiative” on allegations that he hid ties with a university in China while employed at the University of Kansas. In September, a federal judge threw out three of four convictions against Dr. Tao, claiming insufficient evidence.

AASF Executive Director Gisela Perez Kusakawa releases the following statement:

“Dr. Tao has faced three long years of court battles and personal turmoil that has negatively impacted himself and his family. Although the Department of Justice announced the end of the China Initiative, the pain has been ongoing for scientists, academics, and researchers, who remain under suspicion in a country they call home. Our message to the Asian American research and scientific community and Asian American community at large is that nobody has to suffer or fight alone. We celebrate this win and will continue to stand for Dr. Tao and pursue justice for all who are impacted.”

Last month, AASF sent a letter directly to Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen requesting this dismissal and shared concerns from the Asian American scientific and academic community. 


Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) promotes academic belonging, openness, freedom, and equality for all and represents more than 7,000 scientists, researchers, and scholars in the U.S.. In response to heightened anti-Asian sentiments in the U.S. and increasing profiling of Chinese Americans and immigrants in science, AASF has been a leading national voice fighting for the rights of Asian American and immigrant scientists, researchers, and scholars.

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