Xiyue Wang is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University and an American citizen. In August 2016, while conducting research for his dissertation, Xiyue was unjustly detained by the Iranian government and sentenced to 10 years for espionage. For nearly three years, Xiyue has been held in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran, separated from his wife and young son. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has argued that Iran had “no legal basis for the arrest and detention” of Xiyue, and that he should be “released immediately.”
Xiyue is a scholar, not a spy. His arrest is a violation of academic freedom and scholastic inquiry. Xiyue’s activities in Iran were purely academic: his source documents were over a hundred years old, neither confidential nor classified. What’s more, Xiyue’s work had explicit approval from the Iranian government: prior to his departure, Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs approved his research plan and wrote him a letter of introduction for his archival work.
Xiyue was arrested simply for being an American—held hostage for political reasons that have nothing to do with him or his research. Kidnapped, sentenced in a closed trial, and subjected to various forms of torture, it is time for Xiyue to come home.
For more details on Xiyue’s circumstances, see Princeton University’s FAQ.