Loved ones hold vigil for Princeton student imprisoned in Iran

Posted: Updated:

Loved ones held a vigil Thursday night for a Princeton University student who has been imprisoned in Iran for more than three years.

Hua Qu says that her husband Xiyue Wang does not belong in prison. She and others are calling for his immediate release.

Wang went to Tehran, Iran to conduct research for his doctoral thesis. He was arrested in 2016 and was charged and convicted of espionage. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Iranian authorities.

Qu says that the last time she saw her husband was at Newark Liberty International Airport as he left for Iran. Their son was 3 years old at the time – he is now 6 and a half. Que says that she hopes her husband will be able to see their son grow up.

"It is really unacceptable for him to have been kept away from us for such a long time,” she says. "I mean three years precious time in our lives and in our young son's life has been stolen."

RELATED: Vigil held at Princeton University for grad student imprisoned in Iran 

Qu says that her husband’s sentence was unjust and that he is innocent.

"We really hope to have the mercy and the clemency from the Iranian government and I hope our government - the United States government - can do more for this innocent man who was criminalized only because of the navy-blue passport he holds,” says Qu.

Qu spoke with Wang before the vigil by telephone, so he knew that it was happening. It was held at the Chancellor Green Rotunda on the Princeton campus. Several speakers shared remarks and read a message from Wang himself.

"Gradually I have learned to adapt and compartmentalize things. To keep the unpleasant at bay, I focus on songs like ‘The Internationale,’” Wang wrote.

Wang could be imprisoned until 2026.

Qu says she hopes the Iranian government can speak with other members of the international community, including the United States government, to have her husband released on humanitarian grounds.

  • Top StoriesNewsMore>>

  • Dramatic body camera video released of deadly Jersey City shootout at Jewish market

    Dramatic body camera video released of deadly Jersey City shootout at Jewish market

    Friday, February 21 2020 7:14 AM EST2020-02-21 12:14:41 GMT
    WATCH: Dramatic body-camera video released of deadly Jersey City shootoutWATCH: Dramatic body-camera video released of deadly Jersey City shootout
    WATCH: Dramatic body-camera video released of deadly Jersey City shootoutWATCH: Dramatic body-camera video released of deadly Jersey City shootout
    The state Attorney's General Office has released dramatic body camera video, from the perspective of a Jersey City police officer, of the deadly shootout at the JC Kosher Supermarket in December.
    The state Attorney's General Office has released dramatic body camera video, from the perspective of a Jersey City police officer, of the deadly shootout at the JC Kosher Supermarket in December.
  • In rough US flu season for kids, vaccine working OK so far

    In rough US flu season for kids, vaccine working OK so far

    Thursday, February 20 2020 1:06 PM EST2020-02-20 18:06:24 GMT
    Friday, February 21 2020 8:26 AM EST2020-02-21 13:26:50 GMT
    (AP Photo/LM Otero, File). FILE - This Jan. 23, 2020 file photo shows a patient receiving a flu vaccination in Mesquite, Texas. On Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the vaccine has been more than 50% effe...(AP Photo/LM Otero, File). FILE - This Jan. 23, 2020 file photo shows a patient receiving a flu vaccination in Mesquite, Texas. On Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the vaccine has been more than 50% effe...
    (AP Photo/LM Otero, File). FILE - This Jan. 23, 2020 file photo shows a patient receiving a flu vaccination in Mesquite, Texas. On Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the vaccine has been more than 50% effe...(AP Photo/LM Otero, File). FILE - This Jan. 23, 2020 file photo shows a patient receiving a flu vaccination in Mesquite, Texas. On Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the vaccine has been more than 50% effe...
    It may be a bad flu season for kids, but early signs suggest the flu vaccine is working OK.
    It may be a bad flu season for kids, but early signs suggest the flu vaccine is working OK.
  • Case of mumps reported at New Jersey middle school

    Case of mumps reported at New Jersey middle school

    Friday, February 21 2020 5:15 AM EST2020-02-21 10:15:23 GMT
    Case of mumps reported at New Jersey middle schoolCase of mumps reported at New Jersey middle school
    Case of mumps reported at New Jersey middle schoolCase of mumps reported at New Jersey middle school
    A case of the mumps has been reported at Grice Middle School in Hamilton Township, according to a letter sent to parents by the school district.
    A case of the mumps has been reported at Grice Middle School in Hamilton Township, according to a letter sent to parents by the school district.
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."