London, 21 Aug – The Iranian Regime has denied the appeal of a Princeton doctoral student accused of espionage, according to a statement from Princeton University.
Back in July, Xiyue Wang, a Chinese American graduate student, was sentenced to 10 years in jail on charges of spying for the US and the UK whilst doing historical research for his degree.
According to the Regime, Wang, 37, had accessed 4,500 pages from Iran’s confidential archives for US and British institutions including the US State Department, Princeton University, the Harvard Kennedy School, and the British Institute of Persian Studies.
In its most recent statement, Princeton denied that Wang had any connection to government agencies; he was simply a PhD student doing research on documents from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
All of this was explained to the Iranian Regime in advance of Wang’s visit. He told them what he was studying, where he would be visiting, and what he would be looking at.
Wang’s wife, Hua Qu, confirmed this in a statement calling for her husband’s release. She noted that he had received permission from the Iranian government to carry out research in Iran.
The US has attempted to support Wang in this matter but the Regime has not provided any information regarding the charge or the trial, expect for their guilty verdict.
In the statement, Princeton said: “Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran and Mr. Wang has had four consular visits by the Swiss embassy since his confinement. Also, he has been permitted to make phone calls to his wife on an almost weekly basis and has had several visits from his attorney. However, it has been 15 months since Mr. Wang last saw his wife or his four-year-old son.”
Charlotte GAO wrote an article for The Diplomat in which she noted that China has been unwilling to intervene, claiming that Wang does not hold Chinese citizenship because he is also an American citizen and China does not recognise dual nationality. Hua Qu and the couple’s son are Chinese citizens.
Wang’s case has not caught much attention in either China or America, and does not have much public outcry behind it, which has led to increased desperation on the part of Hua Qu and Princeton.
GAO wrote that barely any Chinese netizens have shown sympathy towards Wang’s imprisonment although the reason is unknown.
Wang’s case is just one of many foreign nationals who are arrested in Iran and used as pawns to extract something from the governments who try to get their citizens back.