U.N. Committee Calls for Immediate Release of Princeton Graduate Student Imprisoned in Iran
Princeton graduate student Xiyue Wang, shown here with his wife and their young son before he was detained in Iran in 2016. Photo courtesy of Hua Qu.
The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has concluded that the government of Iran had “no legal basis for the arrest and detention” of imprisoned Princeton University graduate student Xiyue Wang, that Iran committed “multiple violations” of his right to a fair trial, that his “deprivation of liberty is arbitrary,” and that he should be released “immediately.”
The Working Group made these findings in an opinion (Number 52/2018) adopted on August 23, in response to a petition filed earlier this year by Wang’s wife, Hua Qu, and his mother.
“The Working Group requests the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to take the steps necessary to remedy the situation of Mr. Wang without delay and bring it into conformity with the relevant international norms…. [T]he appropriate remedy would be to release Mr. Wang immediately,” the report said.
Wang is a graduate student in the Department of History at Princeton University. A naturalized U.S. citizen, he was in Iran in 2016 to study Farsi and conduct scholarly research for his doctoral dissertation. He had been reviewing documents dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Iran’s National Archives. He was arrested in August 2016 and confined to Evin Prison in Tehran. He was convicted in a non-public trial on two counts of espionage and sentenced to 10 years in prison.