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Wife of Princeton Graduate Student Imprisoned in Iran Pleads for Help

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

American graduate student Xiyue Wang is “very desperate.” His wife, Qu Hua, told NBC News in a broadcast Tuesday that he attempted suicide in the Iranian prison where he's been held for nearly 16 months.

Wang, 36, was arrested in August 2016 on accusation of “archiving thousands of Iranian documents and having connections to American intelligence agencies” while researching Iran's Qajar dynasty for his Princeton University PhD. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Qu, who has a four-year-old child with Wang, told reporters that the potential for her husband's release is now totally reliant on the United States government. She begged the US administration to help: “Only the US government can sort this out, only the US government can help us.”

XiYue Wang, a US citizen and doctoral student in Princeton's history department, was visiting Iran in 2016 to attend a Farsi language program and perform research for his dissertation.

“I was shocked and I was extremely upset that my husband is misrepresented on Iran's state television,” Hua told NBC News. “He went to Iran with all the required approvals. He openly and honestly disclosed his interests in looking at the historical documents.”

Qu believes her husband has been caught up in the political tension between the US and Iran. Wang is one of seven US residents currently being detained.

“I don't know how long this will last, but every month I have hope that he can come home at any time, that they would automatically release him quietly,” Hua said. “But my hope of his return has been shattered time and time again throughout the past year because all of this.”

We at Endangered Scholars Worldwide consider XiYue Wang’s detention a flagrant and unjust violation of the freedom, security, and safety of a student. He has been arrested without cause, held for weeks in solitary confinement and without access to a lawyer, and subjected to physical mistreatment and psychological abuse. We deplore and condemn the ongoing detention, persecution, and conviction of Xiyue Wang and call upon all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to protest and condemn this arbitrary incarceration; to call for his immediate and unconditional release; and to urge the officials of the Iranian government to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international conventions and treaties in accordance with Iran’s obligations under law.

Please consider writing to the following: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei The Office of the Supreme Leader Jomhouri St, Keshvar Doust Street Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran Fax: +98 21 644 11 Website: Facebook: Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary) Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran President Hassan Rouhani The Office of the President Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs Imam Khomeini Sq. Ministry of Foreign Affairs The Minister’s Office Tehran Islamic Republic of Iran Fax: +98 21 66743149 Website: Facebook:


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