Princeton University statements and updates

December 31, 2018: As Xiyue Wang marks 38th birthday in Iran prison, Princeton renews call for his immediate release

Graduate student call-a-thon for Wang, Dec. 11, 2017

Update from Chair of History Department after speaking directly with Wang (12/7/2017)

Letter from University president Chris Eisgruber to President Donald Trump (12/5/2017)

Initial statement (7/16/2017)

Frequently Asked Questions

Wife of Xiyue Wang discusses his life (7/28/2017)

Princeton statement after the denial of Wang's appeal (8/17/2017)

Xiyue Wang's wife's statement after the denial of his appeal (8/17/2017)

Scholars in support of Wang's release

The Middle East Studies Association's Council on Academic Freedom has released a letter urging Iran to consider the release of detained academics.

1400+ scholars from 37 countries call for his release (signatures here, add your name here).

The International Council for Science (ICSU)'s Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in Science wrote to Iranian authorities calling for Wang's release (August 2017)

American Council on Education called for his release, representing nearly 1800 colleges and universities (July 27, 2017), sent a letter to President Trump (December 21, 2018), and issued a statement on the two-year anniversary (August 7, 2018)

The European University Association (EUA) urges his immediate release (November 29, 2018)

Middle East Studies Association calls for Wang's release (September 5, 2018)

American Association of University Professors calls for Wang's release (Dec. 8, 2017)

American Historical Association publicized the academic petition for his release

September 14, 2018, AHA Calls for Immediate Release of Xiyue Wang Imprisoned in Iran and sent a letter to Iran

Scholars At Risk is tracking Wang's case and has a statement

September 12, 2018, "Free Princeton PhD candidate Xiyue Wang from arbitrary imprisonment" and posted Hua Qu's statement about the United Nations opinion

The New School's Endangered Scholars Worldwide posts the petition and released a statement.

Network of Concerned Historians has a campaign, included Wang in its 2018 Annual Report, and issued an update (September 10, 2018)

The Australian Academy of Sciences sent a letter to Iran in January 2018 requesting Wang's release.

Congressional activity

Senate Resolution 245 passed Oct. 31, 2017 calling for release of American prisoners in Iran

Sen. Menendez statement to the Foreign Relations Committee about Wang, October 5, 2017

Sen. Menendez letter to President Trump about Wang and other US citizens detained in Iran, September 12, 2017

Other organizations

United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention opinion on Xiyue Wang (August 29, 2018)

Petition filed with United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention about Wang, by his wife and mother, January 11, 2018

Human Rights Watch, December 9,2017 Iran: Imprisoned Foreign Student Threatened

National Iranian-American Council, July 17, 2017 NIAC Statement on the Unjust Sentencing of US Citizen Xiyue Wang

News outlets

Washington Post, January 20, 2019 Pompeo flubs math on anniversary U.S. diplomatic hostages were freed from Iran

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweets to call for release of Xiyue and others

Fox News, January 14, 2019 Wife of US scholar imprisoned in Iran speaks out: ‘His only crime is he's American’

Huffington Post, January 6, 2019 Her Husband Was Detained In Iran. Now She’s Raising Their Child On Her Own.

NBC News, December 3, 2018 Families of Americans held in Iran ask Trump to pull visas for kids of top Iran officials

note that Hua Qu is not pushing for visas to be pulled (see quote in story)

CBS News, November 2, 2018 U.S. sanctions on Iran raise questions for detained Americans

Wall St. Journal, October 29, 2018, Iran Holds a Hostage for ‘Spying on the Dead' (opinion)

The Washington Times, October 18, 2018 'America is not the enemy, the enemy is right here' (opinion)

United Nations General Assembly

The Daily Princetonian, October 10, 2018, Wang GS still imprisoned as Trump condemns Iran at UN General Assembly

Voice of America, September 28, 2018, Families Join to Press Iran to Free Detainees With Ties to the West

Iran News Update, September 28, 2018, Europe and US Both Face Criticism for Limited Focus in Their Iran Policies

The Hour, September 27, 2018, What Iran's Rouhani doesn't want to talk about (opinion)

Reuters, September 26, 2018, Families of people held hostage in Iran unite to call for action

The Hill, September 26, 2018, Iran’s policy of kidnapping Americans must end (opinion)

United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention opinion on Xiyue Wang

National Public Radio, September 12, 2018, Wife Speaks Out On American Husband Held In Iran

Town Topics, September 12, 2018, UN Committee Calls For the Release of PU Student in Iran

Yahoo! Lifestyle, September 11, 2018, UN panel calls for immediate release of American scholar held in Iran

The New York Times, September 10, 2018, U.N. Presses Iran to Free Princeton Scholar

i24News, September 10, 2018, UN committee calls on Iran to release jailed US Princeton scholar

Princeton press release

Hua Qu's statement

The New York Times, August 29, 2018, For Foreigners Imprisoned by Iran, an Uncertain Plight

Twitter, August 27, 2018, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley meets with Hua Qu (Xiyue's wife)

Arkansas Online, July 20, 2018, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton's bill targets Iran over captives

Iran News Update (blog), July 11, 2018, Progress is slow in the effort to secure political prisoners’ release from Iran

The New York Times Magazine feature story, July 10, 2018: Her Husband Was a Princeton Graduate Student. Then He Was Taken Prisoner in Iran

Readers Respond, July 26, 2018

Washington Post editorial mentioning Wang, June 22, 2018, Trump and Obama have something in common when it comes to U.S. hostages held overseas

C-Span, May 23, 2018, Exchange between Rep. Chris Smith and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Xiyue Wang

Princeton Patch, May 23, 2018, Princeton Student Imprisoned In Iran Is Innocent, Pompeo Says

Voice of America, May 22, 2018, Pompeo: US Working to Bring Home US Detainees from Iran

Yahoo News video, May 18, 2018, Young father imprisoned in Iran: An American dream turned nightmare

Yahoo News, May 18, 2018, Young father imprisoned in Iran: An American dream turned nightmare

Prisoners released from North Korea

National Public Radio, May 16, 2018, For Relatives Of U.S. Prisoners In Iran, Uncertainty Grows After Iran Deal Pullout

Florida Politics, May 16, 2018, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to Trump administration: Bring home Americans held by Iran

Vigil for Xiyue Wang, Princeton, NJ, May 11, 2018

Photos on Facebook:

Facebook LiveStream:

YouTube video: whole vigil, Hua's speech appealing to President Trump

Twitter photos:, May 18, 2018, Rally for student prisoner in Iran calls for Trump to get him out

PJ Media, May 16, 2018, U.S. Hostage Held by Iran in 'Constant Pain,' 'Losing Hope,' Says Wife

Princeton Alumni Weekly, May 16, 2018, At Candlelight Vigil, Speakers Voice Support for Xiyue Wang

Town Topics, May 16, 2018, Iran Entanglements Ignite Two Rallies, In Town and at P.U.

The Daily Princetonian, May 13, 2018, U. community gathers in support of Xiyue Wang

News12 New Jersey, May 11, 2018, Vigil held at Princeton University for grad student imprisoned in Iran

Town Topics, May 9 2018, Rally for Student in Iran; Korea Expert To Speak At Coalition Event

Princeton Patch, May 7 2018, Rally For Princeton Man Held Prisoner In Iran Set For Friday

Vigil for Xiyue Wang, Seattle, WA, May 8, 2018

The Daily of the University of Washington, May 9, 2018, Seattle to Trump: Free Xiyue Wang

US pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal

Reuters TV, May 15, 2018, Deal exit keeps U.S. prisoners in Iran on hold

CNN, May 12, 2018, Trump's nuclear decision is bleak news for Americans held in Iran

Public Radio International's The World, May 10, 2018, End of Iran nuclear deal cuts major diplomatic channel for Americans imprisoned in Iran

Newsweek, May 10, 2018, Who are the American prisoners in Iran? Detainees facing uncertain future after Trump nuclear deal withdrawal

New York Times, May 9, 2018, Relatives of American Prisoners in Iran Ask: What Now?

Associated Press, May 9, 2018, Families wonder how Iran decision will impact US detainees

PJ Media, May 9 2018, 'I Don't See a Way Out' for U.S. Hostages in Iran, Says Former Detainee

US News, May 9 2018, As Trump Leaves Iran Deal, Families of Americans Jailed in Iran Urge Talks

ABC News, May 9 2018, Families of Americans detained by Iran urge Trump to bring them home, too

​, May 9 2018, Families wonder how Iran decision will impact US detainees

The Daily of the University of Washington, May 9 2018, Seattle to Trump: Free Xiyue Wang (Vigil at UW for Wang)

Washington Post editorial by Jason Rezaian (a former hostage in Iran himself), April 19, 2018, The clock is ticking for Americans held hostage in Iran

Fox News Insider (TV), March 28, 2018, Diane Foley mentions Xiyue Wang by name: Mother of Hostage Killed By ISIS: 'There Was No One Whose Job It Was to Help Us'

Fox News (TV), March 28, 2018, Wife of detained US citizen in Iran pleads with Trump: 'Make our family whole again'

New York Times staff editorial, February 7, 2018 calls for Mr. Trump and the State Department to bring Iranian prisoners home (mentions Wang): Baquer Namazi Shouldn’t Have to Die in an Iranian Prison

New York Times, January 28, 2018 (mentions Wang as only non-Iranian on his cell block): Iran Grants Baquer Namazi, 81, Four-Day Release From Evin Prison

Princeton Alumni Weekly, Jan. 10, 2017, In Short

New York Times Op Ed Letter by Hua Qu (Wang's wife), Dec. 12, 2017: Held or Missing in Iran: Two Women Plead for Their Relatives

Vigil at U. Washington (Wang's undergrad institution), Dec. 5, 2017


Statement by Kirsten Foot, U.W. Professor of Communications, at the vigil

Fox News affiliate Chasing News interview with Hua Qu, Dec. 5, 2017: Iran won't free my husband a Princeton University Grad student

Wang transferred to Ward 7 with violent prisoners who threatened to kill him

New York Times reports on Wang's worsening conditions, December 9,2017 Boris Johnson Presses Iran on Detained Britons

The Daily Princetonian, December 6, 2017 Xiyue Wang used as "pawn" by Iran in negotiations with United States

Planet Princeton: Princeton graduate student transferred to dangerous prison unit in Iran, wife says Imprisoned Scholar Moved To Harsh Iranian Prison, Wife Says

Iran airs TV special on Xiyue Wang, November 26, 2017. Their "evidence" that he is a spy consists of the fact that he was a Princeton student examining archival documents for his Ph.D.

Video on YouTube here, English translation here. Note their attempt to draw lots of circumstantial links, all false. Princeton University's rebuttal of their claims here. Hua Qu's response (Xiyue's wife) here.

New York Times coverage: For Westerners Imprisoned in Iran, New Signs of a Deal

NBC Today Show coverage: Wife of Princeton student imprisoned in Iran speaks out

NBC article: American student Xiyue Wang’s wife begs Trump to speak with Iran

New York Daily News: Wife of Princeton graduate student imprisoned in Iran pleads for help

AP story: Iran TV videos target 2 detainees accused of espionage

Washington Post: Iran’s new videos of U.S., British prisoners show Tehran angling for influence

NPR's The World interview, September 22, 2017 The wife of a Princeton scholar imprisoned in Iran worries about the fate of the Iran nuclear deal

Vigil at Princeton

New York Times coverage of the vigil, September 18, 2017 ‘He’s Doing Poorly,’ Says Wife of Princeton Student Jailed in Iran

NPR Newsworks coverage of vigil, September 18, 2017 Candlelight vigil honors Princeton graduate student imprisoned in Iran

Reuters coverage of vigil, September 15, 2017 Wife of Princeton scholar jailed in Iran calls on U.S. to do more to free him

Voice of America Persian TV, September 8, 2017 interview with Eleanor Hubbard, friend and colleague of Xiyue Wang

Press release about vigil, September 15, 2017

Reuters, September 3, 2017 Iran says jailed U.S. student, dual nationals lose spying appeal

Washington Post editorial July 26, 2017 After Otto Warmbier, the U.S. must fight to free American hostages in Iran

Wang's imprisonment becomes public

Reuters July 18, 2017 U.S. Student Imprisoned in Iran Is Scholar, Not Spy: Colleagues

AP July 18, 2017 Wife of Princeton Researcher Held in Iran Urges His Release

Washington Post July 18, 2017 ‘My husband has been unjustly imprisoned’: Wife of Princeton student urges Iran to release him

New York Times July 17, 2017 Colleagues of Princeton University Scholar Convicted of Spying in Iran Express Shock

Washington Post July 17, 2017 American scholar convicted in Iran known for his ‘intellectual curiosity,’ professor says

AP July 17, 2017 American Scholar Jailed in Iran Is Innocent, Professor Says

PBS News Hour July 16, 2017 News Wrap: Princeton grad student sentenced to 10 years in Iran

Reuters July 16, 2017 Iran Says Jails U.S. Dual National for 10 Years for Spying

Washington Post July 16, 2017 Iran sentences Princeton graduate student to 10 years for espionage, report says