ACE and 32 other higher education organizations issued a statement last week in support of Princeton University (NJ) graduate student Xiyue Wang, who has been imprisoned in Iran while conducting academic research.
Wang, a fourth-year graduate student in Princeton’s Department of History and a naturalized U.S. citizen since 2009, was detained and confined to Evin Prison in Tehran while in Iran solely for the purpose of studying Farsi and doing scholarly research in connection with his Ph.D. dissertation.
Before traveling, he described his research plans to Iranian authorities and the libraries and archives he planned to visit, and he only sought materials that he needed for his dissertation.
The July 27 statement urges that he be safely released and allowed to return home to reunite with his wife and young son and to complete his degree. It notes that “Mr. Wang’s imprisonment can only have a chilling effect on historical research and scholarly exchange in Iran and throughout the world, and this, in turn, can only lead to diminished understanding and greater mistrust, to the detriment of all.”