Academic Freedom
Chinese Academics Detained:

Press Conference Featured Speakers

Jerome A. Cohen

Mr. Cohen is a lawyer representing Dr. Gao Zhan. He is of counsel to the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, and a long-time scholar of East Asia. Mr. Cohen formerly served as Jeremiah J. Smith Professor, Director of East Asian Legal Studies and Associate Dean at Harvard Law School. Mr. Cohen is Advisor to the Government of Sichuan Province, China, and to several American and Chinese research and commercial institutions.

Dr. Gilbert Rozman

Gilbert Rozman is Musgrave Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, where he has taught for thirty years. He was an advisor to Dr. Li Shaomin when he was at Princeton University in pursuit of his Ph.D. Dr. Rozman's work has focused on East Asia and Russia, including fourteen books on China, Russia, and Japan.

Dr. James D. Seymour

James D. Seymour is Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University's East Asian Institute, where he specializes in Chinese politics. He is co-author of the book New Ghosts, Old Ghosts: Prisons and Labor Form Camps in China (available in English and Chinese). Although currently denied entry into the country, Dr. Seymour has traveled widely in China, and written many articles about human rights issues. He is one of the early signatories of the appeal letter to Chinese authorities on behalf of the detained Chinese scholars.

Song Yongyi

Song Yongyi is Senior Librarian at Dickinson College, and a researcher on China's Cultural Revolution. He came to the United States in 1989 as graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he obtained his first M.A. in East Asian Studies (1992). In 1995, Mr. Song received his second M.A. in library and information science from Indiana University at Bloomington.

Mr. Song's interest in the Cultural Revolution and growing prominence as an expert on that subject led him to make research trips to China in the summers of 1996, 1998, and 1999. It was on August 7, during his 1999 visit that state security officials detained him and his wife. After a long period of detention, Mr. Song was arrested on December 24 on an unfounded charge of the "purchase and illegal provision of intelligence to foreigners." However, pressure from the U.S. Congress, the State Department, scholars across the world, the Dickinson College community, international media as well as all the American public, led to the Chinese government releasing him on January 28, 2000 and dropping all criminal charges against him.

Xue Donghua

Mr. Xue has been married to Dr. Gao Zhan since 1987, and they have a five-year-old son named Andrew. Mr. Xue, a senior network analyst at the electronics firm EDS, last saw his wife when the family was detained on February 11 as they were leaving China after a visit for Chinese New Year. Mr. Xue was detained for 26 days; Andrew was placed in a state facility until he could be reunited with his father. Mr. Xue has had no contact with his wife despite repeated attempts in conjunction with a local law firm, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and the International Red Cross. Mr. Xue and Dr. Gao moved to the United States in 1989, and they were permanent residents of the United States at the time of their detention. (Mr. Xue has subsequently been naturalized as a U.S. citizen.)


Letter to Jiang Zemin

Leading Academics Protest Detentions
HRW Press Release

Other Petitions and Letters

Biographies of the Detained Scholars

Press Conference Co-sponsors

Press Conference Speakers

HRW Academic Freedom Program

China: Human Rights Deteriorate
HRW Special Focus


Dr. Gao Zhan, released

Dr. Li Shaomin, released

Dr. Xu Zerong, detained days