Xiyue Wang

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Xiyue Wang
Bornc. 1980
Beijing, China
EducationUniversity of Washington
Harvard University
Princeton University

Xiyue Wang (born c. 1980, Chinese: 王夕越; pinyin: Wáng Xīyuè) is an American PhD candidate in the Department of History at Princeton University. On 8 August 2016, he was arrested in Iran on charges of espionage while he was conducting research on the Qajar dynasty.[1] It was alleged that he recorded some 4,500 pages of digital documents and paid thousands of dollars to access archives he needed and sought to access to confidential areas of Tehran libraries.[2][3] In July 2017, he was sentenced to ten years in prison by Iran.[1][4][5] The United States Department of State released the following statement, "The Iranian regime continues to detain US citizens and other foreigners on fabricated national-security related changes."[1][5]

Born circa 1980 in Beijing, China, Wang earned a BA in South Asian studies from the University of Washington, then attended Harvard University from 2006 to 2008 and later worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan.[6][1] At Princeton, his thesis adviser is Stephen Kotkin.[1] In a press briefing, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that Wang does not hold Chinese citizenship.[7]

In July 2017 the American Council on Education and 31 other higher education and research associations issued a statement urging Mr. Wang’s return home[8] and more than 1,000 researchers from 25 countries have signed a petition also calling for his safe return.[9][10]


  1. ^ a b c d e Cunningham, Erin; Morello, Carol (July 16, 2017). "Iran sentences Princeton graduate student to 10 years for espionage, report says". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  2. ^ Adam Schreck (18 July 2017). "SCHOLAR DEFENDS CHINESE-AMERICAN RESEARCHER JAILED IN IRAN". Dubai: Macau Daily Times.
  3. ^ Gambrell, Jon (26 November 2017). "Iran TV airs stories targeting 2 detained dual nationals". Associated Press. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  4. ^ Redden, Elizabeth (July 17, 2017). "Iran Jails Princeton Ph.D. Student as Spy". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (July 16, 2017). "Iran sentences Chinese-born American to 10 years in jail on spying charges". The Guardian. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  6. ^ Calamur, Krishnadev. "The Princeton Student Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison in Iran". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  7. ^ "2017年7月17日外交部发言人陆慷主持例行记者会". Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  8. ^ "Statement by Higher Education Organizations on the Imprisonment of Xiyue Wang". American Council on Education. July 31, 2017.
  9. ^ "Princeton supporting graduate student sentenced to prison in Iran". princeton.edu. July 31, 2017.
  10. ^ "Academic Statement for the Release of Xiyue Wang". American Historical Association. July 31, 2017.

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