Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Matthew and Grace Huang Released, Couple Boards Flight En Route to Los Angeles

The Huang Family

The Huang Family

PRESS RELEASE

Doha, Qatar, December 3, 2014 – The California Innocence Project and The David House Agency are pleased to announce that Matthew and Grace Huang have boarded a flight from Doha bound for Los Angeles.  The couple was wrongfully convicted of negligence by Qatari officials after the unexpected and tragic death of their daughter in 2013.  On Sunday, a Qatari appeals court threw out the conviction and declared them innocent.  The Qatari government continued to detain them against their will at the Doha airport despite the exoneration.

“I am thrilled to announce that the Huangs are leaving Qatar after having the travel ban lifted,” said Justin Brooks, Director of the California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law in San Diego.  “They are innocent, they have been proven innocent, and they will finally be reunited with their children.”

Matt and Grace Huang walking with US Ambassador Dana Smith at Hamad Airport on December 3, 2014. (photo credit: Daniel Chin) courtesy of Free Matt and Grace Facebook Page

Matt and Grace Huang walking with US Ambassador Dana Smith at Hamad Airport on December 3, 2014. (photo credit: Daniel Chin) courtesy of Free Matt and Grace Facebook Page

Brooks and California Innocence Project Associate Director Alex Simpson both travelled to Qatar, prepared witnesses, and participated in the trial.  The California Innocence Project reviewed and committed to the case two years ago when they determined the evidence in the case clearly showed the Huangs were innocent.

On Sunday, a Qatari Judge overturned their conviction and ordered them freed.  Appellate Judge Abdul Rahman al-Sharafi went through the case in great detail and discredited the prosecution’s case, citing much of the defense evidence overlooked at the trial level.  Matthew and Grace left the courtroom and went straight to the airport to board a flight to the United States.  Airport immigration officials did not allow them to travel and confiscated their passports.  There, the couple waited with Eric Volz of the David House Agency as both governments met to determine whether the couple should be allowed to leave the country. Finally, today the travel ban was lifted.

About the California Innocence Project

The California Innocence Project is a California Western School of Law clinical program dedicated to the release of wrongfully convicted inmates and providing an outstanding educational experience for students enrolled in the clinic. The California Innocence Project receives approximately 2,000 claims from inmates each year and has earned the exoneration of 15 wrongfully convicted clients since its inception.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Secretary of State John Kerry Issues Statement on the Case of Matthew and Grace Huang; Travel Ban Lifted Effective December 3
Yellow Sound Label to Release BD Wong’s Debut CD HERRINGBONE on December 2, 2014
The Public Theater Extends Suzan-Lori Parks’s FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS through December 7
Dec. 8: Tony Winner BD Wong, Raymond J. Lee, Pearl Sun, Marc delaCruz, Thom Sesma, Arielle Jacobs, Cindy Cheung, Daniel J. Edwards, Kamala Sankaram, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Christine Toy Johnson & More Set for The Asian American Composers and Lyricists Projects’ “Arriving In Asian America”
Tonya Pinkins, Trezana Beverley and More Set for World Premiere of War by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Yale Repertory Theatre through December 13
New York Times Critics’ Pick OUR LADY OF KIBEHO by Katori Hall, extends through December 14
Austin Pendleton, Pete Simpson, James Stanley and Gary Wilmes Star in Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men at The Public Theater; Extended through December 14
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at Second Stage Theatre’s Tony Kiser Theatre Beginning January 16, 2015
Photos: BD Wong, Cindy Cheung, Brooke Ishibashi,Thom Sesma, Manna Nichols, Steven Eng, Ariel Estrada and Lori Tan Chinn at Leviathan Lab’s Ghost Stories Apple Video Podcast: New York Post Writer Michael Riedel Interviews David Byrne, Jaygee Macapugay, Jose Llana and Conrad Ricamora of Here Lies Love
Cheryl L. Davis’ Maid’s Door Sweeps AUDELCOs with 7 Wins; Complete List of 2014 AUDELCO Recipients
Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Paul Nakauchi and More Set for Lincoln Center Theater’s The King and I 
Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
NYU Theatrical Production Presents the World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night in the Shubert Theatre at Tisch School of the Arts
Q & A with Playwright Camille Darby, 2014-15 Dramatists Guild Playwrighting Fellow
Costume Institute’s Spring 2015 Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum to Focus on Chinese Imagery in Art, Film, and Fashion, May 7–August 16, 2015
Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee
Photos: Art Salon with Artist Yang Chihung and Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang at New-York Historical Society
Photos: Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion on View through April 19, 2015 at New York Historical Society
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Joe Mantegna to Helm ‘Criminal Minds’ Season 10 Episode to Honor the late Meshach Taylor
Photos: Maxine Hong Kingston, Billie Tsien, Bill T. Jones, Linda Ronstadt, John Kander, Julia Alvarez, Jeffrey Katzenberg Receive 2013 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama 
Photos: Artist Arlan Huang, One Brush Stroke at a Time
Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, President Bill Clinton and More Remember Meshach Taylor
Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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