A Family's Vigil
‘I’m at the lowest point,’ says the wife of a grad student imprisoned in Iran
In a corner of Hua Qu’s apartment, under the kitchen table, is a basketball. She bought it last year for her 5-year-old son, Shaofan, to play with, but it’s remained untouched.
“I see other dads throw balls with their kids,” Qu says. But Shaofan’s father, Princeton graduate student Xiyue Wang, is in a prison in Iran, where he is serving a 10-year term after being convicted on espionage charges. “I was a quiet girl growing up, and I didn’t play with balls,” Qu says, sipping a cup of warm water in her living room on a cold January day.
She has been raising their son on her own in graduate-student housing since Wang left Princeton in April 2016 to conduct archival research in Tehran for his dissertation. He has not returned.