Lighting a candle at a vigil for Xiyue Wang GS, detained in Iran
Photo: Ethan Sterenfeld ’20

About 100 students, faculty, and elected officials held a candlelight vigil in front of Frist Campus Center May 11 to show continued support for Xiyue Wang, a Princeton graduate student who has been detained in Iran on espionage charges since August 2016. 

“We miss him, we care for him, and we want him to come home,” said Sarah-Jane Leslie *07, dean of the Graduate School. She said efforts by University officials to secure his release and support his family “will not cease until he is home.” Wang, a Ph.D. student in history, was arrested in Iran while doing research for his dissertation. In April 2017 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Wang’s wife, Hua Qu, appealed to President Donald Trump for his assistance. “This week, we witnessed three former hostages in North Korea returning to their homeland. I really hope that President Trump can achieve a similar breakthrough in my husband’s situation,” she said. Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., urged the group not to lose hope: “When we make it a priority in our diplomacy, when we prudently and in a solemn fashion use sanctions in a way that’s most likely to achieve a positive outcome, we can see the release of prisoners who are being unjustly incarcerated.”