SAN FRANCISCO (April 3, 2015) – American geologist Dr. Xue Feng (薛锋) has been released from Beijing No. 2 Prison after serving all but ten months of his eight year sentence for “illegally procuring state secrets.” In November 2012, he was granted a 10-month sentence reduction for good behavior. It was expected that he would receive another sentence reduction, but it was not granted.
In accordance with the verdict, Dr. Xue was deported the same day as his release. He arrived home in Houston on the evening of April 3.
At the time of his release, Dr. Xue was the only American citizen serving a sentence in a Chinese prison for the crime of endangering state security.
Born in 1965, Dr. Xue is a naturalized US citizen who earned his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Chicago. He was working in China for American energy and engineering consulting firm IHS when he was detained for introducing his employer to what he believed was a commercially available oil industry database. After IHS purchased the database, the data encompassed therein was classified as a state secret. Dr. Xue was taken into custody in Beijing on November 20, 2007 and placed under “residential surveillance” in a state security detention center. Contrary to the bilateral treaty on consular access which stipulates that embassies must be notified within four days of the detention of a citizen, officers of the United States Embassy were unable to see Xue for several weeks.
He was formally detained in February 2008. After repeated delays, Xue was tried in July 2009 and sentenced one year later on July 7, 2010. Xue was given no credit for the time he spent under residential surveillance. His case was upheld on appeal on February 17, 2011. He was then transferred from a state security detention center, where he had been held for more than three years, to Beijing No. 2 Prison to serve his sentence.
In November 2009, Dui Hua was asked by Xue’s family to help him. The foundation has repeatedly raised his case with Chinese officials, and urged the US government to step up its efforts to secure better treatment and release. His case has been raised by numerous members of the US government including President Barack Obama and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Xue’s congressman. Xue has received regular consular visits from US Ambassadors Jon Huntsman, Gary Locke, and Max Baucus, as well as their senior aides.
“Dui Hua is delighted that Dr. Xue has finally been reunited with his family in America after a terrible ordeal,” said John Kamm, Dui Hua’s executive director. “The foundation wishes him every success as he rebuilds his life.”
The Dui Hua Foundation