Chinese researcher Wang jailed in Iran gathered 100-year old papers, Princeton says

World | Jul 17, 2017 18:25
A Chinese-American graduate student sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran for allegedly "infiltrating'' the country and sending confidential material abroad is innocent of all charges against him, his advising professor at Princeton University said today. 
The university said separately that it is "very distressed'' by the charges leveled against Xiyue Wang while he was carrying out scholarly research in the Islamic Republic. It has been working with Wang's family, the U.S. government, lawyers and others to secure his release, it added. 
"His family and the university are distressed at his continued imprisonment and are hopeful that he will be released after his case is heard by the appellate authorities in Tehran,'' the university said. 
Iran's judiciary announced Wang's conviction during a routine press conference on Sunday.
Princeton University professor Stephen Kotkin, who has served as Wang's doctoral adviser, defended him in an email to The Associated Press. 
"Xiyue Wang is a remarkable, linguistically gifted graduate student,'' he wrote. "He is innocent of all the charges.'' 
The documents Wang collected were 100 years old, Kotkin said, adding that Wang "has told me often of his exhilaration at the exquisiteness and depth of Persian civilization.'' 
In its statement, Princeton said Wang was arrested while conducting research on the 1794-1925 Qajar dynasty for his doctorate in late 19th and early 20th century Eurasian history.-AP

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