Princeton University graduate students will host a day of action and a candlelight vigil on Wednesday, Feb. 20, to call for the release of Xiyue Wang, a graduate student who has been detained in Iran for more than two years.
A graduate student in the history department at the university, Xiyue Wang is a naturalized U.S. citizen. He was in Iran 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, and was arrested in August 2016. He was later convicted in a non-public trial on two counts of espionage. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
A United Nations working group on arbitrary detention has said the government of Iran had no legal basis for the arrest and detention.
Wang’s wife, Hua Qu, has said her husband has endured cruel conditions, from being kidnapped to enduring solitary confinement, repeated interrogations, harsh living conditions, and unjust legal proceedings.
She will deliver remarks at the vigil.
On the day of the vigil, students will run a call-a-thon, making phone calls and conducting outreach to their congressional representatives urging them to prioritize Wang’s case.
At 5 p.m. a rally and candlelight vigil will be held at the Chancellor Green on the Princeton campus. The event is open to the public.
A foreign policy and communications consultant who has been hired to raise awareness about the case issued a press release to inform the media about about the vigil.