SAR Switzerland

Release of graduate student Xiyue Wang from prison in Iran through Switzerland's facilitation

Xiyue Wang, a Princeton University PhD candidate with US citizenship, was arrested in August 2016 during field research in Iran on Eurasian history during the 19th and 20th century. He has been in prison ever since, charged with espionage and collaboration with a hostile state in January 2017. In its Opinion of September 2017, the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention stated that there was “no legal basis for the arrest and detention of Mr Wang”, complemented by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran who called it a case of “arbitrary deprivation of liberty.

Swiss science and higher education institutions had written letters of support and called for the release of Xiyue Wang.

Coverage by Scholars at Risk, in  Tagesanzeiger, and in The Guardian